- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy's Golden Era Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 25, 2009
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
In order to get `discovered', these comics needed a platform to woodshed their material and to get in the field-of-view of the show's cadre of talent scouts.
Enter the Comedy Store.
As a reporter for the Comedy Beat of the prodigious Los Angeles Times, Bill Knoedelseder had a ringside seat for the development of the LA comedy scene emerging at the Sunset Strip nightery as well as it's Melrose counterpart, Budd Friedman's Improv. Between the two clubs passed nearly all of the renowned comedians of the 70s thru 90s. Richard Pryor, Jimmie Walker, Leno, Williams, Andy Kaufman, Sam Kinison, Richard Lewis, Elayne Boosler and dozens more all worked out at the club in it's heyday.
Trouble was, the club's legendary owner, Mitzi Shore (yes, Pauly's mom) never believed in paying the talent. "It's a showcase room," Shore would insist, not a place for comedians to earn a living. Eventually, Shore's policy would blow up in her face as the comics formed their own `union' and tried to boycott the club in an effort to gain at least a meager stipend from the dictatorial Shore.Read more ›
As noted in another review, there are errors and I hope that they are corrected in future editions (e.g. Howie Mandel's name is spelled wrong and Howard Cosell's variety show was on ABC and not NBC).
The comics, most in their twenties, would work for free just to have the opportunity to practice their craft at the Club and possibly be discovered for a five or six minute set at the end of The Tonight Show. Eventually, spurred on by poverty and to a certain extent by the all-purpose Jay Leno (who along with Dave, didn't really need the money) the comics went on strike against the Comedy Store and some other similar establishments (Budd Friedman's Improv is an example). Knoedelseder focuses a lot of the book's attention on the plight of one particular comedian, Steve Lubetkin, who was a poster child for the impovered young comic who desparately needed Mitzi and her club but also needed money. The strike and its aftermath leads, unfortunately, to a sad climax which forever changed the once-clubby atmosphere of the young comics.
This book should also serve as a warning to anyone who thinks they have what it takes to make it in comedy. While the rewards are great, be prepared for endless sacrifice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this book well written it felt like I wash. The scenePublished 2 months ago by Ellen Sugarman
I'm the most ripped off, and history. While at The Comedy Store, while watching a mystery and scandals video about the Comedy Store, Mitzi shows up and sits close to me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by peterk.
Great read. Gives the reader the inside stories of 70's stand up. A must read for any comedy nerd, or just admirers of stand up comedy.Published 5 months ago by Kevin Moran
Just an amazing book. I know everyone says that if it is a good book that you can not put it down, but really you can't. Read morePublished 5 months ago by THE RECORD NERD
I purchased this book after hearing Richard Lewis mention it on his interview at The Nerdist.
A great story and extremely well told. Read more
Wow. This is a really good book. It's a great expose on the rugged trail to becoming a stand up comic in the late 70's. Read morePublished 8 months ago by W. Frazier