How It All Began

About Us

HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?

It all began back in 1997 when founding partners Paul D’Amato, Chet Harding and Norm Laviolette were performing in an improv troupe called Rock Hard Improv at the old Hard Rock Café on Clarendon Street in Boston. They performed in the back room of a downstairs bar where their dressing room was a non-working elevator shaft. Waiters would walk through the middle of their scenes (from the back kitchen to the tables) yelling out, “Who ordered wings?”

In the spring of ’97 HRC decided to turn that room over to a music room so Rock Hard Improv lost their performance space. The guys felt that it was interesting that there wasn’t anything like Second City here in Boston. They thought if they could sell out an unknown space on Monday nights, “imagine what we could do with our own place!”

The troupe of Rock Hard Improv dissolved but Paul, Chet & Norm decided to incorporate in the summer of ’97. They came across the vacant European Restaurant on Hanover Street , took out an SBA loan for $75k and signed a 5-year, ½ million dollar lease. In May of 1998 Improv Asylum performed their first show at their Hanover Street location and they never stopped. With live shows 7 nights a week, chances are we have a show tonight!