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The godfather of comedy looks back on a lifetime of laughs

By JOHN ROGERS
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The man who took comedians out of burlesque shows and put them in nightclubs reminisces these days about how that happy accident happened.

When Budd Friedman opened a nightclub called the Improv on the edge of New York's theatre district in 1963 he had dreams of becoming a Broadway show producer.

Instead of actors, singers and directors showing up, however, the Improv quickly became filled with fledgling young comedians looking for laughs.

A half-century later, Friedman stands as the godfather of comedy. He's the man who introduced the world to everyone from Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon.

Friedman and those he discovered recently took time to look back at those laugh-filled years in the memoir, "The Improv: An Oral History of the Comedy Club That Revolutionized Stand-Up."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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