I'm Dying Up Here

Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era

by William Knoedelseder

Hardcover, 280 pages, Perseus Books Group, List Price: $24.95 | purchase

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Title
I'm Dying Up Here
Subtitle
Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era
Author
William Knoedelseder

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Book Summary

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 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. William Knoedelseder was then a cub reportercovering the burgeoning local comedy scene for the Los Angeles Times. He was there when the comedians—not paid by the clubs where they performed—tried to change the system and incidentally tore apart their own close-knit community. Here he tells the 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.—From publisher description.