Family feud at the Comedy Store

Pauly Shore in row over venue's future

A family feud has broken out over the legacy of Los Angeles’s legendary Comedy Store.

Actor Pauly Shore, the son of the venue’s celebrated founder Mitzi Shore, has launched a lawsuit against his older brother Peter that could decide the future of the club that helped build the careers of Richard Pryor, Robin Williams and Jim Carrey.

The legal document alleges Peter has been exerting ‘undue influence’ over their 79-year-old mother, who suffers from Parkinson's disease and other neurological problems.

The club is solely owned by Mitzi, but the brothers had been looking after the club between them; Peter on the financial side and Bio-Dome star Pauly booking the acts.

But the lawsuit claims Peter is ‘unscrupulous’ and ‘abusing’ his relationship with their mother. Pauly believes he is supported by a letter Mitzi’s lawyers sent to his brother in the summer, raising concerns about her treatment and financial security, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Last month Pauly asked for copies of the financial records - and Peter responded by having him kicked off the club's board.

Mitzi founded the club 1972 with her husband Sammy, taking over completely as part of their divorce settlement two years later. She has been described as a ‘mother hen’ to generations of comedians, doling out advice as well as employment to rising stars.

However, in recent years the club – which inspired the UK venues but is unaffiliated to them – has been overtaken by rival clubs, with Mitzi’s stubbornness in updating the venue said to be a factor in its decline.

Mitzi has another son and a daughter who are not involved in the club.

Published: 15 Dec 2009

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