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The Laugh Factory's Jamie Masada

  • Broadcast in Entertainment
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For years, The Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard has been known as the Mecca of Comedy, where newcomers and veterans alike honor the gods of laughter on the same stage that has hosted legends such as Richard Pryor, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, and Rodney Dangerfield. And if the Laugh Factory is Mecca, then the unquestioned Caliph of Comedy (Maharajah of Mirth, High Priest of Hilarity, Sultan of Silly) is the club’s founder Jamie Masada. Since he opened the club in the same building where Groucho Marx used to keep his offices at the age of 16, Jamie Masada has made the Laugh Factory into the nation’s most famous comedy club and the world’s number one comedy brand. A partial list of the greats to appear at the Laugh Factory includes George Lopez, Bob Saget, Damon Wayans, Chris Tucker, Adam Sandler, Roseanne, Paul Rodriguez, Jamie Foxx, and Dave Chappelle. When other LA clubs tended to feature overwhelmingly white, male performers, Masada broke ground in the early 1980s by showcasing African-American, Latino, gay, and female performers. His passion for great comedy and his reputation for fairness – Masada always splits the door receipts with the talent – made the Laugh Factory a must for any young or established performer plying their trade. In addition to showcasing stand-up comedy’s best and brightest of the past three decades, the Laugh Factory has also served the extended community with annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners (free of charge) for struggling artists and the homeless. Masada also began “Comedy Camp” in 1984, which has helped over 800 underprivileged children in the Los Angeles area learn the ropes of stand-up with the help of volunteer instructors like Ellen DeGeneres, the Wayans Brothers, and Chris Rock. For his work with underprivileged kids, he received the NAACP Freedom Award in 2003, and in 2006 was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.