DVD Release: The Best of (The Original) An Evening At The Improv

DVD Release Date: Oct. 8, 2013
Price: DVD $29.98
Studio: Somerville House/Entertainment One

An Evening at the Improv scene

Bill Maher takes the mic in The Best of An Evening at the Improv.

Television’s wildly popular An Evening at the Improv originally premiered as a series of one-hour shows in 1982 on A&E and featured the hottest stand-up comics of the day.

Somerville House’s four-disc, 12-hour collection The Best of An Evening at the Improv features the hysterical work of more than 100 comedians culled from the first 52 hours of the series, including spots by such beloved old-school shtick-meisters as Milton Berle, Shecky Greene, Shelley Berman, Jackie Mason and Mort Sahl alongside such soon-to-be-superstars as Jerry Seinfeld, Howie Mandel, Jim Carrey, Richard Lewis, Bob Saget, Arsenio Hall, Billy Crystal, and Bill Maher.

The Improv Club opened its doors in Los Angeles in 1974, the second Improv venue to be opened by founder Budd Friedman following his original outlet in New York City. The comedy club chain quickly grew as other Improv Clubs opened in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Atlantic City and Louisville, Kentucky. But it was the L.A. venue that served as the site for the An Evening at the Improv, which brought the live comedy club experience to the living rooms of television audiences in North America for the very first time.

Also included among the performers is a selection of some of the funniest ladies in the business, including the great Phyllis Diller, Sandra Bernhard, Elayne Boosler, Paula Poundstone, Carol Leifer and more, alongside with such cutting-edge, off-center talents as Steven Wright, Father Guido Sarducci, Fred Willard, John Byner and Pee-wee Herman. Many of these comedy favorites served up their stand-up routines to a national audience for the very first time in The Best of An Evening at the Improv, one of many reasons the show gained a reputation as one of the most popular comedy showcase of its day.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.