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Featured in the New York Times 2017 "Holiday Gift Guide for Hardcover Fans"

Get an insider's oral history of the World's most iconic comedy club, featuring exclusive interviews with today's most hilarious stars recalling their time on stage (and off) at the Improv. 

In 1963, 30-year-old Budd Friedman—who had recently quit his job as a Boston advertising executive and returned to New York to become a theatrical producer—opened a coffee house for Broadway performers called the Improvisation. Later shortened to the Improv, its first seedy West 44th Street location initially attracted the likes of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Albert Finney, and Jason Robards, as well as a couple of then-unknowns named Dustin Hoffman and Bette Midler. 

While it drew near-capacity crowds almost from day one, it wasn’t until comedians began dropping by to try out new material that the Improv truly hit its stride. The club became the first venue to present live stand-up in a continuous format, and in the process reinvented the art form and created the template for all other comedy clubs that followed. 

From the microphone to the iconic brick wall, the Improv has been the launching pad for practically every major name in American comedy over the last five-plus decades. Now, in The Improv, Friedman, along with a Who’s Who of his most famous alumni—including Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Larry David, Billy Crystal, Lily Tomlin, Judd Apatow, Al Franken, Paul Reiser, Howie Mandel, Bob Saget, Drew Carey, and many more—tell it like it was in the first-ever oral history of how this game-changing comedy club came to be.

The Improv gives readers an exclusive look at what really happened onstage and off-mic at one of America’s most venerable institutions.

The Author's Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers
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The Author's Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers by Brand: Mid-List Press
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"The itch to make dark marks on paper is shared by many writers and artists," begins John Updike in his essay in The Writer's Brush, and this stunning collection will amaze lovers of the literary and fine arts alike. Author Donald Friedman has gathered 400 paintings, drawings, and scultpure--many from private collections, never before published--by more than 200 of the world's most famous writers, including 13 Nobel laureates.

The result is astounding. Whether viewing the beautiful landscapes that Hermann Hesse credited with saving his life, the manuscript sketches that Fyodor Dostoevsky made of his characters, or the can-can dancers secretly drawn by Joseph Conrad, readers of The Writer's Brush will gain new insights into the lives and minds of their favorite writers and the nature of the creative process itself.

Accompanying the artwork are fascinating biographies that provide little-known details of the writers' lives in the visual arts and offer the writers' own observations on their art and the relationships they saw between word and image. While written for a broad audience, The Writer's Brush is also an essential reference work, with alphabetical and chronological listings of its subjects and an extensive bibliography.

As Friedman notes in his introduction, for many of the writers anthologized here, a coin toss could have determined whether to spend the day standing in a smock or seated with a pen. The Writer's Brush brings together for the first time--in one unique, affordable volume--both worlds of these writers in the definitive work of the writer-artist.

Kliph Nesteroff's Five Most Historically Important Comedy Venues in L.A. - L.A. Weekly

Author Kliph Nesteroff’s book The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy (Grove Press) was published Nov. 3 and already has been heralded by Steve Martin, Leonard Maltin and Marc Maron, who describes Nesteroff as “the preeminent historian of modern comedy. ” (Nesteroff dedicates the book to Maron, who invited the author onto his WTF podcast in 2012. ). “I tell the history of comedy, and stand-up in particular, using examples that others haven't written about,” Nesteroff says via text. “Historians often make the mistake of including every last bit of minutiae, but by delving into the specifics of Bob Hope's contract negotiations — for example — you lose your reader in a sea of dullness. Whether it's Albert Brooks' father literally dying onstage or the Mafia controlling Don Rickles’ career, I made it a point to include stories that would be compelling to someone with no interest in comedy … let alone its history. Nesteroff, a 35-year-old Canadian transplant and former stand-up who now lives in L. A. , devotes numerous sections of The Comedians ’ 13 chapters to L. A. ’s pioneering contributions to the craft. Here are five comedy hot spots from Los Angeles' past that Nesteroff credits with shaping its present:. During the late 1940s, supper club and organized-crime hangout Ciro’s helped the likes of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin become touring sensations. In the 1970s, Mitzi Shore's Comedy Store took over the space, showcasing newbies including Jay Leno, David Letterman and Andy Kaufman. Billy Gray's Band Box. Until last year, a Canter’s Deli chopped-liver dish went by this name, an ode to the pioneering but long-forgotten proto-comedy club at Beverly and Fairfax. The Band Box was known throughout the 1950s as the room to see such comedians as Buddy Hackett, Shecky Greene and Dick Van Dyke. In an era where comics often split a showbill with singers, bands and dance acts, the Band Box broke new ground by having comedians performing back-to-back sets. The Los Angeles folk scene has been overshadowed by its Greenwich Village counterpart, but in the 1960s budding new stand-up comedians including Steve Martin, Cheech Marin, Albert Brooks and Rowan & Martin performed amateur L. A. “hoot nights” at... The Melrose Avenue club became such an important West Coast folk epicenter that in 1974 New York club owner Budd Friedman purchased it and turned it into the Hollywood Improv. Source: www.laweekly.com

Latest News

  • Kliph Nesteroff's Five Most Historically Important Comedy Venues in L.A.

    11/08/15 ,via L.A. Weekly

    Author Kliph Nesteroff's book The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy (Grove Press) was published Nov. 3 and already has been heralded by Steve Martin, Leonard Maltin and Marc Maron, who describes Nesteroff 

  • Doctor Treats Homebound Patients, Often Unseen Even By Neighbors

    11/08/15 ,via KTOO

    Miller listens to Budd and Terri Wyman. Terri, 55, can only communicate with her Photographer Misha Friedman says he tries to “look beyond the facts, searching for causes, and asking complex and difficult questions.” His work has been featured by

Books

  • Budd Friedman

    2011. ISBN: 6136567067,9786136567068. 96 pages.

    Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Budd Friedman (born June 6, 1932) is best known as the founder and original proprietor and MC of the Improvisation Comedy Club, which opened in 1963, on West 44th Street near the SE corner of 9th Avenue, in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. He was instrumental in launching the comedy careers of Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Lewis, Robert Klein, Jay Leno, Andy Kaufman, Freddie Prinze, Steve Landesberg, Jimmie Walker, and for a brief time, managed Bette Midler at the early stages of her career. It was with Friedman's help and guidance that Ms. Midler first appeared on The Tonight Show.

Bing news feed

  • Kliph Nesteroff's Five Most Historically Important Comedy Venues in L.A.

    11/06/15 ,via LA Weekly

    The Melrose Avenue club became such an important West Coast folk epicenter that in 1974 New York club owner Budd Friedman purchased it and turned it into The Hollywood Improv. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the upstairs Interlude room at 8568 ...

  • From Sullivan to CK: a History of Modern American Standup Comedy in 10 Steps

    09/30/15 ,via splitsider.com

    The first standup boom began in the early 1960s — and it was on record. Budd Friedman at The Improv in front of Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller. Although a small room in Brooklyn called Pips booked comedian-only shows on weekends beginning in 1962 ...

  • $100 million gift prompts innovation in Pharmacy School

    09/28/15 ,via The Daily Tarheel

    Thakker said the donation will help produce a whole new culture in the pharmacy school. Adam Friedman, a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute, is working to extend the reach of Eshelman’s money through the Young Innovator Program. As of right now ...

Directory

Budd Friedman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Budd Friedman (born June 6, 1932) is best known as the founder and original proprietor and MC of the Improvisation Comedy Club, which opened in 1963, on West 44th ...

Budd Friedman - IMDb

Budd Friedman, Self: Funny People. IMDb. Movies, TV & Showtimes. MOVIES. In Theaters; Showtimes & Tickets; Latest Trailers; Coming Soon; Release Calendar; Top Rated ...

budd friedman | LinkedIn

View budd friedman's professional profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world's largest business network, helping professionals like budd friedman discover inside ...

BUDD FRIEDMAN : Improv's 'Benign Dictator' - latimes

Perhaps the most familiar face in Los Angeles comedy is the smiling visage of Budd Friedman, the man behind the Improv. Since 1981, Friedman's been using ...

budd-friedman-mark-lonow-the-improv-interview-slicebudd-friedmanthe ...

budd-friedman-mark-lonow-the-improv-interview-slicebudd-friedmanthe ...

Budd Friedman Budd Friedman (L) and guest attend the 100th anniversary ...

Budd Friedman Budd Friedman (L) and guest attend the 100th anniversary ...

BUDD FRIEDMAN - Biography

BUDD FRIEDMAN - Biography

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