As One Door Closes Another Door Opens

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It had always been my dream for my wife Diana and I to have our own little comedy club. She had been doing some market research in between acting jobs and was interviewing people who had looked at homes in the Santa Clarita Valley. Many of the people commented to her that there was no entertainment there. We took a drive up from Santa Monica, and the second place we went into was a Marie Callender’s Restaurant. Inside I found a cozy little cocktail lounge completely empty at 9:00 on a Friday night. I spoke to the manger, who introduced me to the owner, and on a handshake, we opened J.R.’s Comedy Club.

We have done shows there every Friday and Saturday since then for the last 19 years.

We have had ups and downs as the economy fluxuated over the years. One thing has remained steady. Every week, the very best comedians in the country graced our stage. I am proud to say we created such a special atmosphere and space that many celebrities not only performed, but loved performing at J.R.’s inside “The Pie House.” People like Tom Dreeson, Dana Carvey, Shawn Wayons, Emo Philips, Craig Shoemaker “The Lovemaster,” Larry Miller, Tom Green, Judy Tenuda, Carol Leifer, Bobby Collins, Billy Gardell, Mark Eddie and Don McMillan have all performed for us. People soon knew that whoever was booked at J.R.’s, they could always count on a tremendous show.

My beautiful wife Diana Angelina and her brother Emil ran the room for me for fourteen years with such care and love of the show that people began to think of us as family. For the last couple of years Jeff Johnson jumped on board to help run the room while he crafted his standup comedy skills.

Last week I got a phone call that in a couple of weeks we will be forced to move to a new location. I wish I had been given more notice, but I have already secured the Embassy suites to host our two legendary New Year’s Eve shows, and I am sure we will find a new permanent home very soon. In the meantime, I would just like to say thanks for all of you who have taken this wonderful ride with us and we look forward to bringing laughter to your lives for a long time to come.

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