Sunday, July 14, 2013

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

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I'm a sucker for stories about the world of stand-up comedy. This book is about the early days of the Comedy Store in the mid-1970s and the comedians' strike in 1979 (they had been performing for free).

Knoedelseder writes about the early careers of performers such as David Letterman, Jay Leno, Robin Williams, Richard Lewis, and Elayne Boosler, as well as Tom Dreesen, who was a bit older and more experienced at the time (probably why the others elected him as their representative).

If you're looking for jokes, this book doesn't offer many, but if you want to learn about the roots of comedians popular in the 1980s, I'm Dying Up Here is great. Just be aware that it focuses more on the operation of the Comedy Store and the strike than on the individual performers.

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