Listen to an NPR Interview with Bob about the 80’s SF comedy scene

Bob Ayres is the CEO and Founder of Comedic Ventures, an Artist Management and Event Production Company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bob is also a speaker coach and the current Licensee and Curator of TEDxMarin.

Bob began in the entertainment/event business in 1977. He founded, owned, and operated the renowned San Francisco comedy club The Other Cafe, which helped begin the careers of comedians Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Dana Carvey, Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, Bob Goldthwait, Rob Schneider, and many others.

In 1981, as personal manager for Dana Carvey, he helped land and negotiate a development contract for Dana with NBC, the springboard for his role on “Saturday Night Live.”

In 1983-84, Ayres executive-produced eight episodes of a critically acclaimed cable TV series, “The Other Cafe’s Comedy Showcase” starring Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Leifer, Kevin Pollak, Geoff Bolt and Will Durst, which won gold, silver, and bronze medals at the International Film and Television Festival of New York.

In 1987, Ayres executive-produced a television pilot called “Two Guys with Amusing Shorts,” which introduced short films by a variety of comedians and directors, including Oscar winner Bill Couturie.

From 1993-1997, Ayres launched “Last Saturdays,” an innovative technology-industry salon that initially gathered at his home in SF on the Last Saturday of every month. This salon led to the birth of the Next 20 Years lecture series (TNTY).

In May 1996, Ayres launched the “Next 20 Years” lecture series in San Francisco. Over the course of the next 10 years, the traveling lecture and technology showcase series traveled to 10 US cities and London and featured more than 450 companies.

In 2008 in conjunction with The Next 20 years project, Bob launched TwoDegrees, a series of on-going invitation only gatherings, free to members of the Two Degrees mailing list.  These gatherings, social networking old school, (in person!) are in essence vibrant cocktail receptions, connecting beloved friends of invited beloved friends. Guests and friends within technology, entertainment, the arts, science, design, media and venture capital come together in a private home or lounge  a few times a year. Send Bob an EMAIL if you’d like more information.

Bob served until 2008 as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the community-based, listener-supported progressive radio station KVMR-FM in Nevada City, CA.

Until early 2009, Bob sat on the prestigious board of advisors for the TED Conference and served for two years as its inaugural Executive Director of the TED PRIZE, whose winners include among others, Bono and Bill Clinton. Bob to this day is the licensee and executive producer of TEDxMarin, one of the oldest running TED’x in the world.

Throughout his professional career and still to this day Ayres continues to produce industry and comedy events, most often as benefit fund raisers for worthy charitable organizations. Bob enjoys consulting on event marketing, conference programming, and sponsorship development for nonprofits and startups. 

The most recent large comedy event was The 30th reunion for his infamous Haight-Ashbury comedy club The Other Cafe, a benefit for KQED Public Media, which starred Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Bobcat Goldthwait, Paula Poundstone, Kevin Pollak, Will Durst and many others.

In 2009 Bob launched Comedic Ventures,  a content and management company. Beginning NYE of 2010 and now ongoing Bob began to produce a series of Other Cafe Comedy Showcases in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, one night only comedy events featuring some of the top comedians in the country.

Bob now resides tucked among the hills in the infamous west Marin town of Fairfax, with his trusted dog Willy where he conducts talent management for a few clients while plotting his next live events and Salons.

More importantly Bob leans, bats and throws left.