Budd Friedman Dies: The Improv Comedy Club Founder Was 90

c-title pmc-u-font-size-20 pmc-u-font-size-38@tablet pmc-u-font-size-46@desktop-xl u-text-align-center@mobile-max u-letter-spacing-0025 pmc-u-line-height-normal u-line-height-45@tablet pmc-u-padding-t-1 pmc-u-padding-t-050@mobile-max”>Budd Friedman Dies: The Improv Comedy Club Founder Was 90

By Armando Tinoco, Dominic Patten

November 12, 2022 6:03pm

Michael Schwartz/WireImage/Getty Images

Budd Friedman, the founder of The Improv comedy club, has died. Deadline confirmed his death with The Hollywood Improv. He was 90.

Friedman recently had a celebration for his 90th birthday at the Hollywood Improv. We hear there will be tributes to him tonight on-stage at the venue. 

In a statement to Deadline, the Improv said, “The comedy world lost a giant today. He was not a stand-up comedian or sit-com star or movie legend. But he gave birth to a generation of artists who defined American comedy and culture for decades.”

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Friedman opened up the Improv in New York City in 1963 shortly after quitting his job as an advertising executive with the goal to become a theatrical producer. The coffee house attracted the likes of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Albert Finney, Christopher Plummer and Jason Robard. Dustin Hoffman and Bette Midler, who were not widely known also performed at the club at the time.

Following the success of the NYC club, Friedman would later open one in L.A. in 1975.

Throughout his lifetime, Friedman had some acting credits like in Star 80 (1983), That’s Adequate (1989), Man on the Moon (1999), Mambo Café (2000), The Boneyard Collection (2008), Funny People (2009) and Louie (2012), to name a few.

After the news of his death, comedians like Whitney Cummings shared their thoughts.

“RIP Budd Friedman, one of the great champions of comedy and comedians. Just a monumental, incredible man. I will never stop performing at the Improv Comedy Clubs,” she tweeted.

RIP Budd Friedman, one of the great champions of comedy and comedians. Just a monumental, incredible man. I will never stop performing at the Improv Comedy Clubs.

— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) November 13, 2022

More to come…

Michael Schwartz/WireImage/Getty Images

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