Mitzi Shore, Comedy Store owner, dead at 87

Mitzi Shore

(CNN)Mitzi Shore, who could make and break careers as the owner of the Comedy Store, has died after battling Parkinson's disease. She was 87.

A who's who of legendary comedians passed through the Sunset Strip club, with David Letterman once describing Shore as a "den mother" to the eccentric assortment of personalities that jockeyed for stage time.
The 1970s and '80s were an especially fertile and defining period for standup, and Shore was a key gatekeeper, showcasing performers like Letterman, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Pryor, Garry Shandling, and Roseanne Barr. The holy grail for comics was parlaying that into an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.