Culture News

Tempe Improv Owner Mark Anderson Found Dead in Buckeye Hotel Room

News broke earlier this evening that Mark Anderson, owner of the now-defunct Tempe Improv who has been missing for the past three weeks, was found dead this morning in a motel room in Buckeye.

According to Lt. Jared Griffith of the Buckeye Police Department, the 60-year-old's body was discovered by the housekeeping staff inside a room at a Days Inn located near Interstate 10 at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning. They then notified police officials.

Griffith says Buckeye P.D. officers positively identified Anderson and began an investigation into his death. The Improv owner's body was turned over to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner. An autopsy will be conducted on Friday and that an investigation is ongoing.

Griffith added that it is unknown how long Anderson had been staying at the motel, but per the staff at the Days Inn, the room hadn't been serviced for two days. (According to media reports, he checked in around May 21).

Anderson was originally reported missing on May 15. A California private investigator was hired to help track down the 60-year-old, who reportedly suffered from unspecified mental issues.

A few weeks prior to his disappearance, Anderson announced that the Tempe Improv would close on June 1 after more than 23 years in business due to increased competition from Stand Up Live and other local comedy clubs. A resident of Oklahoma, Anderson also owned the Improv in Washington, D.C. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Griffith says that cause of death hasn't been established at this time. He was unable to state whether there were either signs of foul play or a suicide note.

"It's really going to be up to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death," Griffith says.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.