The Comedy Store


The story of the Comedy Store.

On Sunset Boulevard, in California, otherwise known as the “Sunset Strip,” sits The Comedy Store at 8433 Sunset Boulevard. The building is comprised of one stage, dressing rooms behind the stage, a storage area in the basement, two showrooms, including the original, a kitchen, and an annex leading from the kitchen. The second and third floors hold offices. The building was constructed in the 1930s with the purpose of being a high-end nightclub for Hollywood’s most famous and richest celebrities. Back then, it was known as Ciro, and was known as such for almost twenty years.

It was during this period in the 1930s that the Mob had significant control over the club. Mickey Cohen, a famous Mobster, was known to carry out some of the Mob’s ugliest business in the basement of the building. This happened until the 1960s when the building changed to become a place for rock and roll bands to perform. It was then in the 1970s that it became The Comedy Store, offering a place for comedians to showcase their stand-up talent. Of the few that were known to perform there are: Bette Midler, Robin Williams, John Belushi, Gary Shandling, Michael Keaton, Arsenio Hall, Richard Belzer and Sam Kinison. Today, The Comedy Store is still the second home of many top comedians as well as many up-and-coming comedians.

There are five resident ghosts in the building, thought to be from the time that the Mob had such control over the building. They are active at all different times during the day but are known to be most active in the early morning hours when the building is quiet. Blake Clark, who is the doorman and also provides security for the building, has experienced much paranormal activity in the building.

Blake Clark was closing up the building one night when a chair moved across the stage. There was no one near the chair and it appeared to be moving on its own accord. On another evening, Blake was preparing the main showroom for closing and he could hear Sam Kinison performing on the stage in the original showroom. Sam’s comedy routine consisted of him getting louder and louder. When Sam reached this part in his act, Blake heard a buzzing sound that would get louder and louder as Sam did. When he could clearly make it out, Blake says that the buzzing was actually a number of people chanting. They were angrily saying, “It’s him. It’s him. It’s him.” Apparently, these ghosts had a problem with Sam’s performance and would repeatedly try to interrupt his performance. They would play with the lights, and cause disruptions in the sound system. One evening, Sam became especially annoyed with this and told the ghosts to show themselves. Immediately after the challenge, all of the lights turned off in the building.

One afternoon, Blake was playing a video game in the annex off the kitchen. He suddenly felt a presence watching him and he turned to see who was behind him. He saw a man dressed in a World War II brown bomber jacket. As Blake turned around for a better look at the man, and perhaps to try to speak to him, the man faded away as Blake watched. The man in the World War II garb was to appear later in the office of a woman named Debbie, who was an assistant in the building. He was crouched in a corner, and displayed signs of being very frightened. He again faded right before Debbie’s eyes. It’s thought that he was one of the victims of Mickey Cohen and that he was killed in that office.

The basement is where the most paranormal activity seems to be and Cohen and the Mob’s activities are also thought to be responsible for this. A professor from UCLA, Dr. Taft, came in 1982 with his parapsychology team to investigate the stories of the ghosts that resided at the club. Upon entering the backstage area where the dressing rooms were located, two coins fell from the ceiling. They continued to the basement and Dr. Taft immediately felt an agonizing pain in his legs. Because of the Mob’s patterns of breaking the legs and knees of their victims, it’s believed that Dr. Taft was experiencing the excruciating pain that one of those souls had suffered.

Blake Clark had two terrifying experiences in the basement of the building. Early one morning, at approximately 3am, Blake heard an unearthly growling sound coming from the basement. Gathering all his courage, he went downstairs to see where the sound was coming from. The basement had a padlock crossing the entrance and at the time, the gate was indeed locked. But the gate was pushing outwards, as though something was pushing against it from the other side, trying to escape. The gate suddenly snapped back to its original position and a black form appeared on the other side of the gate – apparently, it had succeeded in getting out. Blake never found out what the form was as he fled back up the stairs.

In another incident, Blake went down to the basement with a friend of his. While down there, a piece of black cardboard came out of nowhere and hit him on the hand. Blake turned the piece of cardboard over and his name was written on the other side. That was the last time Blake ventured down to the basement.

The building was used for a segment on the show “Haunted Hollywood” in 1994. Dr. Taft was present to watch the taping of the show when he saw three men in the back, dressed in 1940s style of suits. When the taping was finished everyone left and Taft was the last to go. Noticing that the men were still standing in the back, he approached them but they disappeared before his eyes.

Today, the Comedy Store is still believed to be haunted. There can be felt an especially evil presence in the basement and the other ghosts are part of strange happenings around the rest of the building.

The Comedy Store

The Comedy Store

The Comedy Store

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