Richie Tienken, founder of Comic Strip Live and early manager of Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler, has passed away at 75.
Back in 1975, Tienken started Comic Strip Live, at a time when other clubs in the city including the Improv and Catch A Rising Star were responsible for helping plant the seeds for the comedy boom in New York. The club became a launchpad for some of the biggest names in comedy including Murphy, Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Colin Quinn, and countless others.
As a manager, Tienken managed Murphy for the first 11 years of his career, and even was a producer on Beverly Hills Cop II, The Golden Child, Raw, and Delirious. He also wound up managing Sandler very early on in his career, prior to SNL.
“We all thought he’d be here forever,” Jeff Gurian, who wrote the book Laughing Legends: How The Comic Strip Changed The Face of Comedy told Page Six. He was a tower of strength and an icon in the world of comedy.”
A few members of the comedy community has been remembering Tienken and the mark that he has left, as well as the club for all those who passed through its doors. We will update with others as they are made.
Thanks for everything Richie pic.twitter.com/cOzy5zBcF8
— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) March 1, 2021
RIP Richie Tienken. I remember auditioning at Comic Strip over a decade ago. The comic before me had a meltdown and walked 70 people. I performed for 12 people, did okay. Richie said, “I like you. You’re gonna work here.” I spent many nights there for many years. Thanks Richie. pic.twitter.com/vVUHvLVF1W
— Sam Morril (@sammorril) March 1, 2021
Starting in 1976, the stage of Richie Tienken’s comedy club The Comic Strip was a launch pad for several generations of the greats. Eddie Murphy, @JerrySeinfeld, @PaulReiser, @LarryJMiller, @carolleifer, @chrisrock, @AdamSandler and so many more. RIP Richie. You done good. https://t.co/BdnFb5khT2
— Dan Pasternack (@DanPasternack) March 1, 2021
I just found out my old manager Richard Tienken died. This hurts. He took me under his wing and gave me so many spots at the Comic Strip. He had me host a show with the cast of SNL. I went golfing with him and his pastor. He was such a good man. It breaks my heart. RIP Richie. ❤️
— Danny McDermott (@dannymcdermott) March 1, 2021
Today the comedy world lost a legend. Richie Tienken was the first club owner to ever believe in me and I’ll never forget it. You always knew where you stood with him. What I wouldn’t give to sit in his office and hear about the legends that have graced that stage. RIP
— Ralph Anthony (@RalphTheMouth81) March 1, 2021
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) March 1, 2021