Legendary Comedy Club Tempe Improv to Reopen Its Doors in April
Landmark local comedy club Tempe Improv, which closed last summer after decades of hosting hundreds of superstar stand-ups, is making a return. The legendary laugh establishment, located near University Drive and Rural Road in Tempe, is scheduled to reopen its doors in mid-April.
It's just the latest development in the recent drama-filled history of the Improv, and it has a couple of surprising wrinkles.
To wit: One of the parties involved with the relaunch of the venerated club, which shut down in June 2012 after 24 years in operation, is comedy impresario Joel Bachkoff, owner of onetime Improv competitor Stand Up Live at CityScape.
According to the news of the Improv's impending return and various business records, Bachkoff (who owns comedy joints throughout the country) will serve as one of the proprietors of the Tempe club. Per state records, Phoenix-based limited liability company One Sweet World, which is managed by Bachkoff, currently owns the Improv's liquor license.
Before the Tempe club's shuttering last summer, late owner Mark Anderson issued a vitriolic news release laden with emotionally charged allegations and staged a press conference where he accused former employees and Bachkoff of betraying him by poaching big-name comedians and ultimately forcing the Improv out of business.
As we reported around that time, spokespeople for Stand Up Live declined to comment on Anderson's allegations and told Jackalope Ranch the following: "As with any story, you know, there's always two sides and we look forward to sharing ours at the appropriate time."