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I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Eraby William Knoedelseder
Synopses & Reviews
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 Carsonand#8217;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 Camelotand#151;but it couldnand#8217;t last.
William Knoedelseder, then a cub reporter covering the scene for the Los Angeles Times, was there when the comediansand#151;who were not paid for performingand#151;tried to change the system and incidentally tore apart their own close-knit community. In Iand#8217;m Dying Up Here he 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.
Full of revealing portraits of many of the best-known comedic talents of the 1970s, "I'm Dying Up Here" is also a poignant tale of the price of success and the terrible cost of failure--professional and moral.
About the Author
William Knoedelseder is the author of Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, The Music Business, and the Mafia, and In Eddieand#8217;s Name. He lives near Los Angeles, California.
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