Two influential Sunset Strip landmarks, The Comedy Store and the Rainbow Bar & Grill, are set to celebrate their upcoming 40th anniversaries by hosting special events to mark the occasion. This Sunday, April 15, the Rainbow will host an outdoor party from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. featuring a dozen bands set to perform on an outdoor stage and inside the Rainbow.
On Saturday, April 21, The Comedy Store will continue the party when they celebrate 40 years of laughs with a star-studded comedy show featuringrising comedians of today and famous alums in attendance.
“It’s not often that you get to celebrate a business in Los Angeles that has thrived for 40 years,” says Todd Steadman, Executive Director of the Sunset Strip Business Association. “But to be able to celebrate two independent, family-owned businesses in the same week is fantastic. You have nottruly experienced The Sunset Strip if you haven’t been to The Comedy Store andthe Rainbow. They’re cornerstones of not only The Strip, but West Hollywood and Los Angeles nightlife in general.”
The Comedy Store was founded on April 7, 1972 by Sammy and Mitzi Shore and became known as the place to both become a better comedian and become a commercial success, with scouts from “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” film and television productions and talent agencies regularly in attendance.
Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Andy Kaufman, Jim Carrey, Sam Kinnison, Roseanne Barr, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle all called The Comedy Store home. More recently, The Comedy Store has helped launch the careers of Whitney Cummings(“Whitney”), Al Madrigal (“The Daily Show”), Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), SteveRannazzisi (“The League”), Bobby Lee (Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, Pineapple Express) and Sarah Silverman.
The 40th anniversary show will "take the audience on a journey through each of the decades as Comedy Store veterans of past and present come back to celebrate and honor the 40 years of laughter," noted the show’s producer, Mark D. Turocy. Tickets for the anniversary show are on sale now through The Comedy Store’s website, with performer lineups to be added daily.
The Rainbow opened on April 16, 1972, by co-owners including Mario Maglieri and Lou Adler with a party for Elton John and has been a second home for actors and musicians, their fans, friends and entourages ever since. Celebrities including John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Keith Moon, John Belushi, Grace Slick, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Guns N’ Roses, Van Halen, Motley Crue, B-Real and Lemmy have all been sited there, and the restaurant and bar continue to draw customers from around the world.
“We are proud to still be rockin’ after 40 years and look forward to many more,” noted co-owner Mikeal Maglieri, whose family remains one of the original owners of the Rainbow and the Whisky A Go-Go.
The Rainbow’s 40th anniversary party will feature performances by Pretty Boy Floyd, Don Dokken, Hurricane, Phil Soussan, DC4 among others. Entrance to the event is free with the purchase of a drink. For more information, check out the Rainbow’s Facebook page.
Rainbow Bar & Grill photo courtesy of Genie Sanchez.