Tom Hanks Developing Film Based on The Life of Mitzi Shore and The History of The Comedy Store

     January 27, 2010


Pajiba is reporting that Playtone Productions (which is owned by Tom Hanks) is now developing a movie based on the life of Mitzi Shore .  Shore, who is also Pauly Shore’s mom, owned L.A.’s The Comedy Store during the stand up comedy boom of the 70’s and 80’s. The venue has now become an important and legendary part of comedy history with such comedians as Eddie Murphy, Tim Allen, Chevy Chase, Jim Belushi, Jim Carrey, David Letterman, and Jay Leno getting their start there.  Chances are if you’ve seen a biography of any older stand up comedian on The Biography Channel, you’ve heard them mention The Comedy Store.

The film’s narrative will be based on the nonfiction book I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy’s Golden Era by William Knoedelseder. The book focuses on the time period during the late 70’s when Shore refused to pay comics while she made a fortune off of their efforts.  This resulted in comedians going on strike against Shore, which all lead to comedian Steve Lubetkin committing suicide by jumping off of a hotel across the street from The Comedy Store after he was banned from the club for going on strike. His suicide note read, “My name is Steve Lubetkin. I used to work at the Comedy Store.”

Hit  the jump for why I think this project could be the goods.

The film certainly has the potential to be something truly amazing to watch if the right writer and director come on board.  It’s also certainly going to be interesting to see who will be cast to play all of our now famous comedians when they were just starting out.  Hanks has shown that he has a respect for the art of comedy over the years with his numerous memorable appearances on Conan, Letterman, and SNL and he could not have picked a better time to move this into production after all of the attention that the newest late night wars received.  I just wonder if the friendship between a young Letterman and Leno will now be played up more.

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