The Tempe Improv will close its doors June 1, the comedy club announced on Tuesday, something workers described as a “surprise announcement.”
However, ComedySchools.com, an independent comedy development and promotional entity that teaches classes of stand-up comedy at the Improv, will re-open in another location in the weeks ahead, according to the school’s director, Tony Vicich.
Owners of the Tempe Improv placed much of the blame on competing comedy club Standup Live in downtown Phoenix, according to a press release the Improv released on Tuesday.
The Tempe Improv, which opened in September 1988, was the top Valley comedy club for more than two decades, presenting such comics as Jerry Seinfeld, George Lopez and David Spade.
However, activities there have slowed in recent months since the opening of Standup Live in downtown Phoenix last year.
“In one year Stand Up Live has taken virtually all of the comics that the Tempe Improv developed during its 23 year history,” the release states. “You can’t be a comedy club if you can’t get any comedians.”
Improv owner Mark Anderson and Improv publicist Yamili Cano were not available for comment, but a worker in the box office also confirmed that employees of the Improv were informed on Tuesday that the club would be closing.
Vicich said as late as Friday, Improv workers were told by the club’s owners that they were going to remain open, but by Monday, workers became aware of the closing after a comedian posted on her Facebook page that her June 1 appearance was canceled because the club would be closing.
Vicich said on Friday he made an offer to buy the Improv, but his initial offer was not accepted. Vicich would not comment on the amount of his offer or the asking price of the club.