Rest in Peace, Budd M. Friedman.
FACTZ has spoken with family members, who have confirmed the sad news.
Gerson M. Friedman, better known as Budd Friedman, was born on June 6, 1932. He was best known as the founder, original proprietor, and MC of the Improvisation Comedy Club, which opened in 1963 on West 44th Street near the SE corner of 9th Avenue in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan.
He was instrumental in launching the comedy careers of Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Lewis, Robert Klein, Jay Leno, Andy Kaufman, Freddie Prinze, Steve Landesberg, Jimmie Walker, and for a brief time, managed Bette Midler at the early stages of her career. With Friedman’s help and guidance, Ms. Midler first appeared on The Tonight Show.
He was also an actor and producer. Friedman also opened Improv clubs at other locations, including Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, on March 23, 2007, in Los Angeles in 1975, and Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, California.
Budd Friedman was also a veteran who served in the US Army during the Korean War. The legend who put comedy on the map will be missed.