I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up - download pdf or read online

By William Knoedelseder

Between different issues, this can be the heritage of the recognized L.A. comedy membership, The Comedy Store.

In the mid-1970s, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen, and a number of other hundred different shameless showoffs and incorrigible cutups from around the nation migrated en masse to l. a., the hot domestic of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. There, in a late-night international of intercourse, medications, goals and laughter, they created an inventive group not like any prior to or because. It was once Comedy Camelot... —but it couldn’t last.

William Knoedelseder was once then a cub reporter overlaying the burgeoning neighborhood comedy scene for the Los Angeles Times. He wrote the 1st significant newspaper profiles of a number of of the longer term stars. And he was once there whilst the comedians—who weren't paid by way of the golf equipment the place they performed— attempted to alter the method and by the way tore aside their very own close-knit group. In I’m loss of life Up Here he tells the full tale of that golden age, of the strike that ended it, and of the way these days nonetheless resonate within the lives of these who have been there. As comedy golf equipment and cable television started to increase, many might in attaining stardom.... yet luck had its price.

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

Example text

Steve wasn’t doing nearly as well. For one thing, he was still living at home with his father. He’d appeared on one local TV show, The Joe Franklin Show, but he was stuck in place at the Improv, still relegated to occasional late-night spots during the week. Richard had eclipsed him. After weeks of worry over what would happen with Johnny gone, Lubetkin decided what he had to do: He was going to follow The Tonight Show. He was moving to Los Angeles. His destiny was waiting there; he was certain.

The pair had met and married when they were students at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he majored in radio and television. m. movie show and a substitute weekend weatherman on WLWI-TV. It was there that he pioneered the concept of irony in weathercasting, making up fictitious weather phenomena and spicing up the daily temperature readings with wry comments like, “Muncie, 42 . . Anderson, 44 . . always a close game,”* which didn’t always go over well in rural central Indiana, where most folks liked their weather straight.

Leno wasn’t home, but the pretty girl who opened the door invited him in anyway. ” she asked. ” “Yeah, sure,” he said. She looked in the refrigerator. ” Dreesen almost laughed out loud. Good old Jay, the Charlie Hustle of stand-up. In town only a matter of weeks and already he had a nice place to live, a good-looking girlfriend, and enough work to afford steak. The one the girl served Dreesen turned out to be the last one in Leno’s fridge, which made it taste even more delicious. Mitzi Shore put Dreesen in the regular lineup—early and late spots, not prime time—and agreed to let him emcee occasionally.

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