The Improv, Legendary Comedy Club Brand, Acquired by Levity

Levity Entertainment Group announced today that it has acquired The Improv, the legendary comedy brand owned by Budd Friedman and Mark Lonow.

Some 54 years after Friedman launched the first club, The Improv has grown to over 20 clubs nationwide and also maintains a library of comedy assets, including the “An Evening at the Improv” series.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“There are few comedy brands with such an authentic and rich history,” says Levity founder Robert Hartmann. “We are excited to build on its legacy and evolve the live experience for new audiences.”

“When I started The Improv on 44th Street with little more than a brick wall, I couldn’t imagine it would endure for over a half century,” says Friedman.  “So much of the history of comedy played out on our stages.”  Adds Lonow, “I’m so proud of what we accomplished, and I have no doubt The Improv will continue to be the premier showcase for the best comedy talent.”

According to a press release, the new owners promise that while they will “keep the legacy of The Improv brand, the venues will offer a vastly improved consumer experience for comedy fans featuring upgraded seating, premium food and beverage options, and state-of-the-art technology.”

“The Improv, together with our existing venues, allows us to build a global comedy network, which is such a valuable asset to our production and talent management business.” says Alireza Ghaemian, Levity’s CFO and chief strategist. “The Improv has always been the home for the best artists and we will continue to build on that legacy.”

Levity Entertainment Group owns entertainment venues, the TV production company Triage Entertainment, and Levity Talent Management. The company is a joint venture between Azoff MSG Entertainment and its founders.

 

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