LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) Levity Entertainment Group announced today it has acquired the legendary comedy brand The Improv, the original venue a staple of the Los Angeles (and worldwide) comedy scene since 1963.
The comedy club was launched by Budd Friedman and Mark Lonow more than 50 years ago and has grown to more than 20 clubs nationwide, including a library of comedy assets including “An Evening at The Improv,” which broadcast on A&E for 14 years.
“There are few comedy brands with such an authentic and rich history,” Levity founder Robert Hartmann said in a statement. “We are excited to build on its legacy and evolve the live experience for new audiences.”
“When I started The Improv on 44th Street with little more than a brick wall, I couldn’t imagine it would endure for over a half century,” Friedman said. “So much of the history of comedy played out on our stages.”
Adds Lonow, “I’m so proud of what we accomplished, and I have no doubt The Improv will continue to be the premier showcase for the best comedy talent.” Both Friedman and Lonow said, “We are honored to have been part of launching so many incredible comedic careers over the years. We have had such fun doing it.”
Levity Group Entertainment, a joint venture between Azoff MSG Entertainment and its founders, owns venues nationwide as well as Triage Entertainment, which produces more than 150 hours of prime-time programming. Levity Talent Management represents more than 50 artists.