I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era (Paperback)
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.
William Knoedelseder, then a cub reporter covering the scene for the Los Angeles Times, was there when the comedians -- who were not paid for performing -- tried to change the system and incidentally tore apart their own close-knit community. In I'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.
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.