Jamie Masada with Emerson College

Laugh Factory Founder


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-and-a-half hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, Jamie Masada talks about how he came to found the Laugh Factory, and Richard Pryor being the first comedian to take the stage there in 1979. He describes figuring out the business of owning a comedy club in Los Angeles, and the challenge of booking comedians when it first opened. He discusses a few controversies that have popped up at the Laugh Factory, including Seinfeld’s Michael Richards using a racial slur, and Carlos Mencia stealing jokes. Masada recalls many incidents of the healing power of laughter at his club, including shows done after 9/11, and holding a memorial for Richard Pryor on the evening of his death. He concludes by discussing his comedy camp for underprivileged kids, and the then-future of comedy. Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on February 19, 2007 at the Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA.

“Doing comedy is not about money. If you love what you do, the reward comes itself. If you become a comedian just for the money, you may be successful, but you're never going to be happy.”

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Jamie Masada on Richard Pryor being the first comedian to perform at the Laugh Factory
Jamie Masada on the power of comedy to bring people together, and on opening the Laugh Factory after 9/11
Jamie Masada on holding memorials for Richard Pryor and Rodney Dangerfield at the Laugh Factory
Jamie Masada on how he came to found the Laugh Factory
Jamie Masada on the challenge of booking comedians early on at the Laugh Factory, and on giving back to the local community
Jamie Masada on dealing with controversies involving the Laugh Factory
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On how he came to found the Laugh Factory; on Richard Pryor being the first comedian to perform at the Laugh Factory; on figuring out the business side of owning a comedy club, and on competing with The Comedy Store and The Improv
On the challenge of booking comedians early on at the Laugh Factory, and on giving back to the local community; on the importance of the history of comedy, and booking older comedians like Redd Foxx and Buddy Hackett; on dealing with controversies involving the Laugh Factory
On Michael Richards' controversy at the Laugh Factory; on comedians like Sam Kinison and Richard Pryor doing edgy material at his club
On the Carlos Mencia joke stealing controversy
On the power of comedy to bring people together, and on opening the Laugh Factory after 9/11; on holding memorials for Richard Pryor and Rodney Dangerfield at the Laugh Factory; on the healing power of laughter
On sponsoring his comedy camp for underprivileged kids; on dealing with comedians' agents and managers, and on being a manager himself
On how comedy changes over time, and on the then-future of comedy; on his role as a mentor of sorts to new comedians; on answering the question "Was it worth it?"
Topics

9/11

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Jamie Masada on opening the Laugh Factory after 9/11

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Jamie Masada on his role as a mentor of sorts to new comedians

Historic Events and Social Change

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Jamie Masada on opening the Laugh Factory after 9/11

Pivotal Career Moments

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Jamie Masada on his role as a mentor of sorts to new comedians
People

Rodney Dangerfield

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Jamie Masada on holding memorials for Richard Pryor and Rodney Dangerfield at the Laugh Factory

Redd Foxx

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Jamie Masada on the importance of the history of comedy, and booking older comedians like Redd Foxx and Buddy Hackett

Buddy Hackett

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Jamie Masada on the importance of the history of comedy, and booking older comedians like Redd Foxx and Buddy Hackett

Carlos Mencia

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Jamie Masada on the Carlos Mencia joke stealing controversy

Richard Pryor

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Jamie Masada on Richard Pryor being the first comedian to perform at the Laugh Factory
Jamie Masada on comedians like Sam Kinison and Richard Pryor doing edgy material at his club
Jamie Masada on holding memorials for Richard Pryor and Rodney Dangerfield at the Laugh Factory

Michael Richards

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Jamie Masada on Michael Richards' controversy at the Laugh Factory

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