Laugh Factory

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Coordinates: 34°5′52.8″N 118°21′52.1″W / 34.098000°N 118.364472°W / 34.098000; -118.364472 The Laugh Factory is a comedy club with locations on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, Long Beach, California, Chicago, and inside the Tropicana Las Vegas. The chain is owned by Jamie Masada.

The Laugh Factory
Laugh Factory at Night.jpg
Original Laugh Factory in Hollywood, CA
Address 8001 Sunset Boulevard
Location Los Angeles, California
Type comedy club
Opened 1979
Owner Jamie Masada
Capacity Hollywood: 300
Website www.laughfactory.com

History[edit]

Masada arrived in America at age 14. He worked multiple jobs in Hollywood to support his family back home, while also performing on the comedy circuit to build his stand-up career. Despite the fact that he was living in a garage and barely spoke English, he combined Farsi and Hebrew and soon was working with professional comedians like Richard Pryor, David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Redd Foxx. Masada's father told him, “Making people laugh is the greatest Mitzvah of all.”[1] In 1979, after a dispute over club owners refusing to pay comedians, a then 16 year old Masada decided to open a new venue for comedians to perform. After obtaining a loan of $10,000 from Neal Israel, he opened the Laugh Factory in a building formerly belonging to Groucho Marx.[2] Richard Pryor was the first comedian to perform at the club.[citation needed]

Masada attends Tuesday Open Mic Nights to screen possible comedians for performances. The Laugh Factory now has branches in Hollywood, California and Long Beach, California, Las Vegas inside of the Tropicana Las Vegas, and in Chicago, Illinois.

Michael Richards incident[edit]

Michael Richards went into a racist outburst toward two black men who were heckling him during a November 17, 2006 standup comedy routine at the venue. In response to that incident, The Laugh Factory banned comedians from using the word "nigger" in their acts. The first known incident involving this new rule involved Damon Wayans (himself an African-American), who used the word 16 times in a 20 minute show. He was fined $320 ($20 for each offense) and given a 3-month ban from the club.[3] The ban actually lasted just a month as he was back performing in January.[4]

Philanthropy[edit]

Charity fundraisers have been held at the club, including benefit nights for Red Cross, USO, Cops For Causes, Comics Without Borders, Wounded Warriors, Middle Eastern Comedy Fest, and Stand Up For Pakistan.[citation needed] In 2011, the Laugh Factory provided free High Holiday Services to the Jewish community for Jewish New Year. Services are conducted in the Reform Jewish tradition by Rabbi Bob Jacobs. All expenses for the services and the free "break the fast" at the conclusion of Yom Kippur are paid for by the club, and donations are refused.[5]

Laugh Factory Long Beach[edit]

Long Beach's Laugh Factory, which opened on September 20 2008 in downtown Long Beach, California, was the fourth Laugh Factory opened and the third in Southern California. The club, which cost $10 million to build, has 670-seats in a 12,000-square-foot venue, which its owner claims is the largest comedy venue in the world.[6] It is part of the retail and entertainment development The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, which opened in 2003.[7]

The Long Beach Laugh Factory houses the Laugh Factory Stand-Up Comedy Hall of Fame and Museum, which holds over 500 pieces of comedy memorabilia from comedians including Rodney Dangerfield and Groucho Marx[8] and wax figurines of Whoopi Goldberg and Eddie Murphy.

Comedy Camp[edit]

In 1985, Masada created Laugh Factory’s Comedy Camp for underprivileged kids. To date, he has worked with more than 1,000 disadvantaged children, ages 9–16, from lower-income neighborhoods. Meeting for 10 Saturdays each summer, comedians including Bob Saget, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler and Dane Cook, among others, coach the youth, who are also taken on food outings and field trips.[9]

Laugh Factory TV[edit]

A weekly stand-up comedy series originating from the Hollywood location, Comic Strip: Live, aired late Saturday nights on the Fox network from 1989–1994. The series was hosted by John Mulrooney (1989), Gary Kroeger (1990–91) and Wayne Cotter (1991–94). For a seven-month period starting in November 1990, the show was renamed Comic Strip: Late Night to differentiate it from a short-lived Sunday prime-time spinoff, which featured weekly guest hosts and originated from other locations.

The Laugh Bowl[edit]

Among events currently hosted at the Laugh Factory is the annual Laugh Bowl search for young talent, a competition held each November between rival Southern California Universities, UCLA and USC.[10] The Laugh Bowl creator and executive producer, Daron Moore, was the Marketing Director for the Laugh Factory and launched the first live show in November 2009. The Laugh Factory camera crew captures students’ comedy routines, posts the footage online and opens voting. The top-five finalists from each school compete onstage at the club before a panel of professional comedians and industry professionals, with the winner receiving a gig at the Laugh Factory and opportunities for more exposure with sponsor networks.[11]

Lowie at the Laugh Factory[edit]

"Lowie at The Laugh Factory" was a once a week comedy show presented by the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. The show was hosted by Craig Low with co-host Daron Moore. Craig Low is an Australian comedian, TV host, radio host, and writer and is better known to the public as “Lowie”. Laugh Factory producer Daron Moore also served as the show's executive producer. The show was produced at CBS Radio and broadcast on over 57 Australian radio stations from 6pm-8pm on Sundays. The show was also uploaded to iTunes for podcast with the potential of American distribution. The two-hour show was broken down into three parts. The first hour contained content generated from comedy shows at the Laugh Factory. This hour was broken down into four segments: "Fresh Faces" - where Australian listeners hear routines from new comics and vote for their favorite, "The Black Pack" - a segment composed of clips from well known African American comics, "Tom Arnold & Paul Mooney on Life" - where listeners hear Tom or Paul share funny and crazy experiences from their lives, and "The Laugh Factory Top 3" - which was a countdown of the top three jokes on a particular subject. The second hour revolved around a different headlining comic such as Tim Allen, Dane Cook, and Kevin Nealon. They are interviewed and have segments from their routine played over the air. A new headlining comic was chosen each week. Lastly, each show ended with a word of advice from the clubs owner and founder Jamie Masada.[12]

Laugh Factory New Media[edit]

Laugh Factory New Media is the new media and production arm of Laugh Factory, Inc. It manages the site www.laughfactory.com and The Laugh Factory's video channel on YouTube. As of March 2014, the channel has over 95 million video views and 235,000 subscribers.

In addition to stand up comedy, Laugh Factory New Media has several ongoing original web-series. In "The Kevin Nealon Show," comedians are interviewed on-stage by Kevin after their set. In "Film Buzzed," comedian Bill Dawes reviews movies while inebriated, often playing many different characters over the course of the review.

Endurance record[edit]

The Laugh Factory keeps track of an endurance record for the comedian who can deliver the longest single set at the club. The record-holding performances are listed below:

Date Duration (hr:min) Performer
January 2, 2008 7:34 Dane Cook
December 3, 2007 6:12 Dave Chappelle
April 15, 2007 6:07 Dave Chappelle
April 10, 2007 3:50 Dane Cook
1980 2:41 Richard Pryor

Guinness World Record[edit]

On December 8, 2010 at 4:38pm the Laugh Factory broke the Guinness World Record for Longest Continuous Stand Up Comedy Show (Multiple Comedians).[13] The record was previously held by Comic Strip Live, who set the original record of 50 hours. The Laugh Factory surpassed 50 hours on Wednesday and continued non-stop until 10:38pm Thursday December 9 when they stopped and set a new record of 80 hours. Dom Irrera was on stage when the record was broken, and Deon Cole was on stage when the new record was set. The event, titled "Toy to the World," was paired with a Toy Drive for Children's Hospital. Over 130 different comedians performed and the event was live-streamed over the internet.

The Laugh Factory Presents comedy specials[edit]

In February 2014, Laugh Factory released its first two online specials. The Laugh Factory Presents Raj Sharma Live from Las Vegas and The Laugh Factory Presents Tim Gaither Live from Las Vegas can be streamed now on YouTube and Amazon.[14][15] Club owner Jamie Masada wanted comedians to be able to release specials without losing all their money. "There are a bunch of comedy places that charge comedians $150,000 to $200,000 to videotape and make their specials," he says. "By the time they finish, the comedians not only don't make any money, they have to pay for it."[16] The Laugh Factory plans to front the costs of producing the specials, but will then take a 20 percent cut of streaming sales. The comedians will keep the remaining 80 percent.

Notable performers[edit]

Comedians who have performed in the club include:

Notable musical guests who have performed in the club include Diane Neal, John Mayer, Justin Bieber, Melissa Joan Hart, Mike O'Malley, and Reza Farahan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jamie Masada". Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Jamie Masada: The Laugh Factory Impresario's Biography". Carl Kozlowski. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  3. ^ TMZ Staff. "Wayans Drops N-Bomb, Faces Fallout looks like they need to give the Freedom of Speech Award back". TMZ. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  4. ^ TMZ Staff. "Laugh Factory "Ban" a Joke, Wayans to Perform". TMZ. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  5. ^ The Laugh Factory. "Free High Holiday Services at The Laugh Factory". Laugh Factory. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  6. ^ http://www2.presstelegram.com/lifestyle/ci_10501279
  7. ^ http://www.lbbj.com/manage/uploads/lbbj_pdfs/PikeImprovements_04252006_1.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.ocregister.com/articles/rodriguez-kennedy-lovitz-2164984-night-comedy
  9. ^ "Laugh Factory Using Comedy To Help Disadvantaged Kids". CBS. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Dickason, Cara. "Making the rivalry funny". The Daily Trojan. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Dickason, Cara. "Making the rivalry funny". The Daily Trojan. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Radio". lowievsamerica.com. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  13. ^ "Culture Monster". Los Angeles Times. 
  14. ^ "Laugh Factory Presents Raj Sharma". Laugh Factory. 
  15. ^ "Latest Comedian Specials (Full-Length)". Laugh Factory. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Jarvey, Natalie. "Laugh Factory Releases Online Comedy Special". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 

External links[edit]