Think it's tough being a stand-up comedian? Try doing it in the 70s.
I was born in the 70s. Just barely. But don’t judge me it still counts. I think that’s why I have such nostalgic feelings for a decade I lived in but don’t remember. It’s fun to go back and watch the original seasons of Saturday Night Live (which started in 1975) – which looks like a completely different world when compared to its current offerings. Comics in the 70s worked hard to be heard. The goal was not to get on some new late night show in a three-minute sketch. Everyone wanted The Tonight Show. With Johnny Carson. Even more, they wanted The Couch.
I’m Dying Up Here, a new show on Showtime, chronicles the life of a dozen comics grinding it out at Goldie’s. When favorite comedian Clay gets The Couch and then celebrates by stepping in front of a bus, the rest of the crew have to figure out how keep going and still be funny. The show is created by Jim Carrey, and the more I watched it, the more I could see how this story would appeal to him. He’s been a favorite of mine for a long time, but he definitely has a dark side.
When I first started watching the show, I didn’t know if I’d make it past the first couple of episodes. But there was something about the characters that kept pulling me back. Plus, it didn’t hurt that one of the comedians is played by Michael Angarano, who I’ve liked since he was in Sky High. It’s a little crude in places, but I still found it enjoyable. I don’t think I would have wanted to live in this world, but it was fun to visit for a while.
The series is based on the book by the same name by William Knoedelseder. The library has a downloadable audio book on hoopla, but if you want print, you’re gonna have to come see me in ILL to make that happen.
It’s dark. It’s funny. It’s the 70s. Just think of all the cool Halloween costumes you can steal from the groovy cats in this show.
Happy Not Dying Up There…