Addison Improv – Addison, Texas
Catch some of the country’s funniest comics and up-and-coming jokesters at Addison’s premier comedy club. You can get dinner and a show right here, with a burger joint-style menu served up every show night.
In the 1980s, a new cable network, the Arts & Entertainment Network (now known as “A&E”)began airing “An Evening at the Improv”, a weekly comedy series taped at the Hollywood Improv and hosted by Budd Friedman. Cable television was exploding across America, and Budd, with his signature monocle, became as well known to viewers as Johnny Carson and Ed Sullivan. “An Evening at the Improv” offered television exposure to new comedians and brought stand-up comedy into homes across the country like never before.
n the 1980’s, spurred by the growth of cable television and movies, comedy dominated pop culture. Robin Williams was on the cover of virtually every magazine for his movie roles. Along with “An Evening at the Improv,” there were widely popular HBO comedy specials and the comedy juggernaut, “Saturday Night Live.”
The Improv began expanding its comedy empire. After seventeen years of going solo and running the club on a modest budget, Budd realized that he needed some support.
His new partner was Mark Lonow, himself once part of a New York comedy trio with his wife, JoAnne Astrow, and Henry Winkler, ‘the Fonz’ from “Happy Days.” Mark had moved to Los Angeles, became a successful producer/director, and would soon be credited with helping to make the Improv a more profitable business.
Together, Budd and Mark began a national expansion of the Improv, opening locations in San Diego, San Francisco, Brea, Irvine, Tempe, Washington D.C., Dallas, Addison, Cleveland, Miami, Las Vegas, Reno, and London, England.
Suddenly, comedy fans across the country were able to see their favorite comedians in an intimate club setting. For the grand opening of the Improv in San Diego, Robin Williams performed and was surprised onstage by his idol, Jonathon Winters. They performed together for the very first time.
The Improv has long been as much a part of Hollywood as any other establishment. We’ve been the site of hundreds of tapings for both film and television, not to mention countless comedy recordings. The critically acclaimed “Funny People” was the latest movie to be filmed at the Hollywood Improv, but other movies such as “Man on the Moon,” “The Aristocrats”, Robert Townsend’s ”Hollywood Shuffle,” and “The Goodbye Girl” also had major scenes shot at the Improv.
For television – other than the 400+ hours of ‘An Evening at the Improv’– we’ve been featured on Last Comic Standing (which has taped in multiple Improv locations) and dozens of comedy specials on HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central. Other shows include A&E’s “Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels,” E!’s ”Denise Richards: It’s Complicated”, the NBC series “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” as well as their own HBO’s “An All-star Toast to the Improv” and “The Improv 40th Anniversary Special” on NBC.
Addison Theatre Centre – Addison, Texas