Initially, the doors of the venue where The Laff House was located on South St., opened to the public as “Funny Bone”. They provided budding comics with a soapbox to stand on and an audience to amuse. The club name was later changed to “Catch A Rising Star”. Their focus was to nurture emerging local and national talent with amateur comedians. Eventually, some well-known acts also began making the venue a regular stop on their comedy tours. In time, the famed comedian David Brenner acquired the club and it became “David Brenner's The Laff House”. Under Brenner’s fame and management, the club began to be more widely known.
The venue became The Laff House, under the powerful management of the dynamic duo - Mona Wilkerson and Rod Millwood. For the next decade and beyond, they played a major part in the foundation of comedy in the city of Philadelph.
The Laff House was the “happening” place where many comedians came in the beginning of their careers, to develop and hone their skills before they went on to become well known. The list includes Kevin Hart, Mike Blackson, Bill Burr, Lisa Lampanelli, Gary Owens, Mike Epps, Deon Coles, J. B. Smoove and others. There were many more who are not as well known, but who were talented.
The Laff House was known to give them all professional support and the “push”, often helping comics who were struggling financially in the beginning. Sadly, in July of 2013, this comedy institution closed its doors on South St., following the untimely death of Mona Wilkerson.
She will forever be missed.