Unraveling The Beef Between Two Stand-Up Comedy Legends
Date Posted:May 21, 2023
For nearly half a century, stand-up comedy has been a highly appreciated form of entertainment and Jerry Seinfeld, one of its most renowned champions, has played a massive part in shaping its narrative. Known for his observational humor and affable persona, Seinfeld has been on the comedy scene for nearly 50 years. Despite his resounding success, there was one place where he was not welcomed - The Comedy Store, a staple in the live comedy world. This iconic Los Angeles comedy club, under the ownership of Mitzi Shore, has been a mecca for comedians looking to refine their craft and make a name for themselves in stand-up comedy. Yet, the club had banned Seinfeld, one of the most successful comedians of all time. So, what sparked this intriguing feud between Jerry Seinfeld and Mitzi Shore?
Seinfeld and Shore: The Live Comedy Feud Begins
When Mitzi Shore took ownership of The Comedy Store in 1974, it became a hotbed for comedic talent. Around the same time, an aspiring stand-up comedian named Jerry Seinfeld started making a name for himself on the east coast in New York City. Despite their shared love for comedy, the two found themselves at odds.
One reason, according to some comedians who were close to Mitzi, was that Seinfeld was already too seasoned by the time he approached The Comedy Store. Mitzi preferred fresh faces with rough edges that she could help shape and mould. However, in a recent interview, Seinfeld suggested a different theory. "Mitzi Shore was a great motivator of mine. She disliked me instantly because I was very independent and that's not the Comedy Store model," he confessed. According to him, Mitzi favored comedians who were, in his words, "wounded, broken-winged birds."
Another reason might have been Seinfeld's brand of comedy, which didn't exactly align with Mitzi's taste. While The Comedy Store was known for comedians with dark, edgy jokes, Seinfeld was an observational comic with a clean act that appealed to a broader audience. Regardless of the exact reason, the rift between Seinfeld and The Comedy Store remained for several decades.
The story gets more fascinating when you bring in the experiences of fellow stand-up comedians Andrew Santino and Tony Hinchcliffe, who both recounted their memories of the Seinfeld-Shore beef. Santino remembers Seinfeld's story of Mitzi saying he wasn't funny enough for The Comedy Store. He went on to describe how, after achieving success with his sitcom, Seinfeld bought a house above Mitzi's, regularly driving by to see if any Shores were out to say hello. A gentle jab, perhaps, from a comedian who had proven himself to be one of the greatest.
Seinfeld's Triumphant Return to Live Comedy and The Comedy Store Stage
The feud took an even more interesting turn when Mitzi's declining health led to a change in ownership at The Comedy Store. In 2018, decades after his alleged ban, Seinfeld returned for a surprise set. Tony Hinchcliffe had the daunting task of following Seinfeld's act that night, describing it as the "toughest follow I ever had in my entire life."
Mitzi Shore passed away on April 11, 2018, marking the end of any ongoing dispute with Seinfeld. The feud between them, while intriguing, has done nothing to diminish their legacies. They are both highly respected figures in the stand-up comedy scene, each having left an indelible mark. Comedy fans around the world continue to buy comedy tickets, hoping to witness a bit of the magic that these two brought to the world of stand-up comedy.
Stand-Up Comedy Legacies Enduring Beyond the Feud: The Influence of Seinfeld and Shore
In many ways, the story of Jerry Seinfeld and Mitzi Shore is a tale of two giants in the stand-up comedy world. Their shared passion for live comedy and the desire to make people laugh formed the backdrop of a complicated relationship. As we reflect on this historical feud, we are reminded of the power of comedy to unite, divide, and provoke thought, all the while leaving us in stitches.
Despite their differences, both Jerry Seinfeld and Mitzi Shore will forever be revered as titans of comedy. Their impact on stand-up comedy is both immense and enduring, proving that comedy truly is a labor of love. Whether you're enjoying a live comedy show at The Comedy Store or watching an episode of 'Seinfeld,' their influence is everywhere, continuing to shape the future of stand-up comedy.