Pauly Shore Reflects on The Comedy Store Documentary: 'It's a Reminder of My Mom'
The actor stopped by two popular podcasts this week — Your Mom's House, hosted by married comic duo Christina Pazsitsky and Tom Segura, and TigerBelly, with comedian Bobby Lee and his partner Khalyla — to discuss the show.
Shore, 52, famously grew up behind the comedy club that his mom, the revered (and sometimes feared) Mitzi Shore, owned and operated. He says watching the documentary, which was directed and produced by comic Mike Binder, was a sensitive matter for him.
"The Store is a heavy place for me," Shore told Pazsitsky and Segura. "Just to talk about it and watch the documentary is not easy. Because to me it's my mom. It's not The Comedy Store—it's my mom. I go there and just see reminders of her everywhere."
He adds that he thinks director Mike Binder did a magnificent job with the series. "Mike babysat me!" he says. "He was there from the '70s. He was the youngest comic, other than me, that started at The Store...I don't think anyone else could have done the series."
Shore, who recently made a return to acting after a ten-year hiatus with the comedy Guest House (coming to Blu-Ray in November and Netflix in December), said on the podcast that he thinks the comedy scene is different now then when he was growing up, when he'd be in a booth as a ten-year-old watching people like David Letterman, Robin Williams, Richard Pryor and Sam Kinnison onstage.
"The '70s at The Store were f---ing popping," he says. "You look at the doc and see the Eddie Murphy's and the Sam Kinnisons and the Pryors and you look at the guys now, and it's just different. I'm not saying the guys now are not just as good—it's just a different style."
In the episode—the 575th episode of the extremely popular podcast—Shore also reminisces with the hosts about his days as a VJ with MTV in the early 90s. He said MTV Spring Break was where it was at back then.
"Corey Feldman was down there going through his Michael Jackson phase," he recalls of his first MTV Spring Break, talking about Feldman's penchant at the time for wearing a single glove, black hat and white makeup. "Me and Christian Slater were sharing a room...but Feldman got all the babes. Me and Christian got nothing."
On the TigerBelly podcast, hosted by actor and comedian Bobby Lee (who grew up playing The Comedy Store and is also featured prominently in the doc series), Shore opened up about how his mom really came into her own when she inherited The Store after divorcing Pauly's dad, comedian Sammy Shore.
"My mom's story is very fascinating to a lot of people," Shore says. "She was a lady who was at the right place at the right time, for the right era and the comics came out."
He tells Lee and Lee's cohost (and wife) Khalyla, "She was 40 years old...she got this life that she really enjoyed. She was from Wisconsin and bohemian and very artsy and offbeat, and she was just a natural at developing. She started developing my dad's act way before she got The Store. So when she got it, it was like a jazz singer finding her cadence...she felt who she was. And then everyone showed up. It was the boom."
Shore says he sometimes worried that something could happen to the revered comedy club in the future, and hopes it will get landmarked so no one can tear it down. "I don't want anything to ever happen to it," he says. "It should remain that Emerald City for comedians."
Lee, who honed his stand-up at The Store (and later became a cast member of MadTV between 2001-2009) agrees with Shore about the importance of the space.
"If that place ever closed?" says Lee. "I might no do stand up ever again...when I go there, it feels like going home."