Catch A Rising Star founder Rick Newman, whose club helped launch the careers of numerous comedians and musicians such as Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, among countless others, has passed away. The news was first reported by thelaughbutton.
Newman opened the original “Catch” in Manhattan on First Avenue between East 78th and 77th. Though the original Catch has long since closed, the name has lived on in other places, including Princeton, where I was the house host and general manager from 2004 to 2009,
Catch CEO Suzy Yengo on Newman: “There will never be another Rick Newman. There will never be another time in history where comics don’t care about censorship and appreciate the legendary club created by Rick Newman. He was a friend , a mentor, and a great guy. I will always miss him.”
Jim Wright wrote on the Catch Facebook page:
Kevin Kearney was the director of national bookings for all Catch A Rising Star clubs from 1997 to 2008 and the man who hired me at Catch Princeton, which he managed in 1995. He continued to manage the Catch club on South Street in Philadelphia until they moved him to Las Vegas in 1997.
Kearney on Newman
“The road to success and fame certainly lay through Rick Newman’s Catch A Rising Star in New York City and the other clubs in the Catch A Rising Star chain of clubs from the early 1970s through well into the 1970s. 2000”.
“Talented young comedians, comedy actors, singers and musicians all wanted their turn on that stage to first see if they had something the industry wanted and then find out where that talent could take them.”
“The pinnacle of all this interest was Rick Newman. If Rick liked your acting, you had a career. If Rick liked your acting, you were going somewhere. He has helped so many talented people find their way to success. It’s not just famous people helped along the way. So many people, as well as the most famous funny people you know now, have a Rick Newman story that helped them get to where they are today. Not a bad way to be remembered. Rick Newman was a good guy in a tough business and he will be missed by all.”
Newman’s death comes days after the passing of Richard Belzer, whose career Newman helped launch when he named him host of house at Catch New York.
The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise alone. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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