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Budd Friedman

Budd Friedman, the man who could well be called the father of the modern comedy club, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, moved to New York, fought in Korea and returned to Manhattan, where he obtained a degree in advertising and marketing from New York University. Less than enthralled with advertising, he hit upon the idea that was to become the Improvisation. The rest, as they say, is history. Ever the entrepreneur, Budd produced a political/satirical theatrical revue in New York entitled What's a Nice Country Like You Doing in a State Like This? He became Jay Leno and Bette Midler's first manager, and in 1975 he opened a West Coast branch of the Improv on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

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