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Sammy Shore's Amazing Life: From Making Openings for Elvis to Raising Money for Homeless Animals

Pedro Marrero
May 21, 2019
08:00 A.M.

Maybe if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have had so many talented comedians behind the screen of our TVs. Learn the story of Sammy Shore, the best comedian we’ve had.

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The extraordinary and famous comedian Sammy Shore had an intense life and full of his passion for comedy. During the last twenty years of his life, he toured the stages with his son Pauly Shore, in a father and son duo of comedians never seen before.

In addition to traveling with his son, Shore played regularly at Harrah's Casinos and Hotels, where he performed more than any other artist. At the beginning of his career, Sammy and his fellow writer, Rudy Deluca, started the famous ‘The Comedy Store’ in Los Angeles in 1972. Soon it became the main stand-up comedy club in the world.

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This fruitful 70-year career as Sammy's stand-up began in the Catskills when he and Shecky Greene worked together as a comedy duo. But, when Elvis chose him to open on his return to the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1974, Sammy shot to fame.

The next seven years, he opened at the International Hotel for Elvis and for shows on the billboard. It would be much easier and short to list the ones he didn’t open, as he was a star and they chose him again and again to open the shows.

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Among the celebrities who chose him are Tom Jones, Bobby Darin, Tony Orlando, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Ann-Margaret, Barbra Streisand, Connie Stevens, and Glen Campbell.

He also became a member of the 'Friars Club' in Los Angeles, where he went to have lunch every day with his beloved companions from the world of comedy and friends. He was also chosen as the Best Act of Comedy of the Year in 1974, in Atlantic City by the Atlantic City Press.

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He even earned a day dedicated to his legacy on July 24, 1990, as the "Sammy Shore Day” by the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles. And he was the comedian who worked at Harrah's Casinos and Hotels more than any other artist.

The Comedy Store launched various famous comedian careers who showed up to test their material and perfect it. For example, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Richard Pryor, Roseanne Barr, Garry Shandling, and David Letterman showed up there.

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According to Shore, he gave the club to Mitzi (his ex-wife) in his divorce agreement to reduce his alimony payments. Mitzi died in April 2018 at 87 years old. For many young artists, a set in The Store meant a spot on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

"It saddens me to let everyone know that my father Sammy Shore recently passed away at the age of 92 due to natural causes." His son Pauly wrote on his Twitter account announcing the departure of the comedian. Shore is survived by his wife for 29 years, Suzanne, their three children, and two grandchildren.

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Together, he and his wife Suzanne created "Funnybones" to raise funds for Nevada SPCA so they could pay for the critical care of animals that otherwise could not have been adopted

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