Bob Ayres/ Founder

Listen to the NPR Interview with Bob

Bob Ayres is the Executive Producer and founder of the Other Cafe comedy showcase series and CEO of Comedic Ventures. 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 ten 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 ongoing invitation-only gatherings, free to members of the Two Degrees mailing list. These gatherings and 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 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 2008, 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.

Throughout his professional career, Ayres has continued to produce industry and comedy events, most often as benefit fundraisers for worthy charitable organizations. Bob continues to consult on event marketing, conferences, and development issues to nonprofits and startups.

The most recent large event was The 30th reunion of 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 comedy development company, bringing together a loose collection of comedy writers, filmmakers, comedians, and actors to produce and develop original comedy programming for Television as well as live and digital presentations. At the beginning of NYE of 2010, 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.

Beginning in 2012 and continuing through today, Bob is the licensee and Executive Producer of TEDxMarin, a vibrant local chapter of TED’s global initiative called TEDX. TEDxMarin talks have enjoyed a widespread audience with online views now topping the many millions.

Bob now resides tucked among the trees and hillside in the infamous west Marin town of Fairfax, California, with his trusted dog Koufax, where they secretly plot his next events.

More importantly, Bob bats and throws left.