New York City
Laughter on the 23rd Floor was inspired by playwright Neil Simon’s early-career experience of churning out jokes for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, where he worked alongside Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen. The play introduces a room full of oddball writers, many based upon actual personalities, including Simon. The Sid-Caesar-like character of Max Prince, star of a 1953 variety show, is a booze-guzzling, pill-popping comic genius who goes to any lengths to protect his team in the face of network cutbacks. This hilarious play chronicles the writing room’s outrageous antics and increasing stress levels under the pressures of rising McCarthyism and television executives resistant to sophisticated humor.