I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era

I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era

by William Knoedelseder
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I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era by William Knoedelseder

In the Mid-1970s, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen, and several hundred other shameless showoffs and incorrigible cutups from all across the country migrated en masse to Los Angeles, the new home of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. There, in a late-night world of sex, drugs, dreams, and laughter, they created an artistic community unlike any before or since. It was Comedy Camelot---but it couldn't last. In I'm Dying Up Here, William Knoedelseder tells the whole story of that golden age, of the strike that ended it, and of how those days still resonate in the lives of those who were there. As comedy clubs and cable TV began to boom, many would achieve stardom...but success had its price.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586488963
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 07/27/2010
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 477,520
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

William Knoedelseder is a veteran journalist who honed his investigative and narrative skills at the Los Angeles Times, where his reporting on the entertainment industry produced a string of groundbreaking exposes. He is the bestselling author of Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, the Music Business, and the Mafia and Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer.

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I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy's Golden Era 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Result 1: Introduction and List of Participating Clans<br> Result 2: Map of Common Area<br> Result 3: The Seasons, the Time, and the Weather<br> Result 4: The Moonpool<br> Result 5: Gathering (High-Rock)<br> Result 6: Gathering (Sharing Tounges)<p> ~$ilverstar of Jayclan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her dorm is the book tout sweet. Res fifteen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
umm look at the date on hazels post. I dont think shes on anymore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey hazel i guess im your dorm mate that cool?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a funny, sad, look at the 70s comedy scene in Hollywood, when so many of the people who have become famous comedians were young and hungry compatriots. It's got a terrific plot, the characters are fascinating, but the facts are real. I especially appreciated the author's balanced telling, very much the way I remember journalism, when objectivity was a goal of the craft.
Scott_J More than 1 year ago
Leno and Letterman, Lewis and Lubetkin: fixtures in the New York and Los Angeles comedy scenes in the late 1970s. The former have gone on to become household names as fixtures of late night TV; the latter are cautionary tales about the weight of fame and the expectations that come with it. Their tales intertwine in this book by William Knoedelseder, which follows the (forced) migration of comedians from New York to LA as they followed Johnny Carson and the Tonight Show, and their subsequent struggles against the Comedy Store and its owner Mitzi Shore. Despite the danger of the book being potentially slapstick or lowbrow considering its subject matter, Knoedelseder handles class struggle, personal deception, and untimely death with equal grace. In fact, Knoedelseder even had personal relationships with some of the principals, which may result in the book's most notable shortcoming: its limited world-view. The action always stays with the select few - Tom Dreesen, Lewis, Shore, Leno, Letterman - and rarely provides the bigger picture; for example, once the Tonight Show moves west and the comedians follow, no real return to New York is made even as Saturday Night Live is getting off the ground. This also makes the reader feel as though part of the story is missing; other exciting stories are teased but never given a full explanation. Though perhaps it has too narrow a focus, "I'm Dying Up Here" still tells a story that is by turns entertaining and dramatic, inspiring and bittersweet. With "cameo" appearances by Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Andy Kaufman, Richard Pryor, and Johnny Carson and old pictures of the comedians that would be blackmail material for anyone else, "I'm Dying Up Here" is worth the read, especially as a way to warm up to NBC's Jay-Leno-in-primetime experiment.