Originally located in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen and considered by many to be the first comedy club in America, The Improv is the subject of a documentary that’s about to debut on TV. The Improv: 50 Years Behind the Brick Wall, is an hour-long original documentary that will premiere on EPIX on December 6. Hosted by Adam Sandler, the show will feature many big names in the comedy world speaking about the role the iconic club played in their development.
Among those appearing in the film are Judd Apatow, Lewis Black, Russell Brand, Larry David, Jimmy Fallon, Kathy Griffin, Jay Leno, Richard Lewis, Bill Maher, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Damon Wayans, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans. Improv founder Budd Friedman and general partner Mark Lonow also appear.
Opened in 1963, the comedy club played an important part in the development of comedians including Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Andy Kaufman. The success of the now-shuttered New York club led to a second location in Los Angeles that opened in 1974. The A&E show An Evening at the Improv was filmed at the Los Angeles club from 1982-1996. There are currently 23 Improv comedy clubs operating around the country.