I’ve been watching and loving The Comedy Store, Mike Binder‘s five-part Showtime series about the legendary comedy club on the Sunset Strip. (With a sister establishment in La Jolla.)

Longtime owner Mitzi Shore passed two years ago, but Binder got all the name-brand veterans to sit down and ruminate — David Letterman, Jim Carrey, Jay Leno, Bill Burr, Joe Rogan, Louis CK, Marc Maron, Paul Rodriguez, David Spade, etc.

The Comedy Store launched in April ’72. Chapter and verse, Binder’s doc covers the whole colorful, up-and-down saga. But altogether it’s a family drama — a story about a longstanding community and fellowship and a church of good souls.

Episode #1 is about the beginnings and the old days. The second episode covers the strike of ’79. Episode #3 is about the ’80s – the era of Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay, Jim Carrey and to some extent cocaine — and into the ’90s. The fourth is about when it almost went to shit, when Joe Rogan walked over his duel with joke thief Carlos Mencia. The fifth episode will be about how woke censorship has suppressed the stand-up art form.

The first four episodes are streaming now; episode #5 will be viewable on Sunday, 11.1. If you haven’t visited, please see all five.

Here’s a sampling of quotes from an episode #5:

Marc Maron: “The problem is that some people [these days] are no longer able to access a sense of humor.”

David Spade: “You should be able to say whatever you want, and not go down for it. But when you’re doing comedy on stage, [you should] try whatever you want, break the rules, piss people off. But sometimes when that moment comes and I’m thinking about using a word…even I’m scared about bits that might not work, [and that] I don’t want to lose my career.”

Louis CK: “When somebody says that a subject is too terrible to joke about, that’s like someone saying that a [certain] disease is too terrible to cure.”

Rogan: “It’s not fun. It’s not fun for people to hate you. It’s not fun for people to take what you say out of context. Taking it out of the realm of jokes. Of satire, of fun, of talking shit, of absurdity. It’s a dishonest way of [digesting] material. But the more we talk about how dishonest this is, the more this gets out in the zeitgeist and the more it has less power.”

Rodriguez: “The power of p.c. has really obliterated the careers of some great comics.”

Leno: “Louis CK did some shows in New York, and they sold out. And one person complained. And suddenly that’s the headline.”

Burr: “If you don’t like what he did, don’t go to the show.”