A museum of comedy? For Steven Alan Green, that’s no laughing matter.
The comedian believes there should be a museum dedicated to his craft. So he has been hosting a series of fundraisers to get the idea off the ground.
The most recent was to be a comedy night last weekend at the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard across the street from the House of Blues. Stand-up veteran Steve Mittleman and comedy writer David Feldman were among those scheduled to perform.
Proceeds from the event, which charged $20 to $30 for a ticket, will go toward establishing what Green calls the Comedy Museum Exploratory Committee. He hopes to raise a total of about $75,000 to develop plans for the museum, which could include exhibits about the history of comedy, spotlights on influential comedians, events and performances.
“I lived in England for a long time and I saw how the arts are respected and studied,” said Green, a writer and producer, who was a staple of L.A.’s stand-up comedy scene in the 1980s. “I want to produce a world-class museum dedicated to the study and exhibition of the art, history and science of comedy.”
Green is running the museum fundraising efforts through his non-profit organization, the Laughter Foundation, which he started to help provide health care to local comedians. The foundation also provides emergency money – called the Heckler Fund – for comedians who need help paying rent, and sends volunteer clowns to perform at children’s hospitals.
Green said he has the support of many local comedians for the museum. According to him, there is no museum dedicated to the art of comedy.
Once he raises enough money to begin planning, he hopes to spend about six months scouting locations and presenting the idea to potential investors. Even though he lives in Los Angeles, he would like to locate the museum in San Francisco, which he calls the birthplace of American stand-up.
He acknowledged that his goal seems ambitious.
“You put an idea out there and then you’ve got to get it under the right noses; then it becomes real,” he said. “There is an element of ‘What the heck is he doing?’ But I ignore that stuff. I’m a soldier of comedy.”
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