Cover image for I'm dying up here : heartbreak and high times in stand-up comedy's golden era
I'm dying up here : heartbreak and high times in stand-up comedy's golden era
Knoedelseder, William, 1947-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : PublicAffairs, [2009]

Physical Description:
x, 280 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
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 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 was then a cub reporter covering the burgeoning local comedy scene for the Los Angeles Times. He was there when the comedians--not paid by the clubs where they performed--tried to change the system and incidentally tore apart their own close-knit community. Here he tells the 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.--From publisher description.
Prologue: A true comic -- Blood brothers -- The hippest room -- Mitzi's store -- Tom, Dave, and George -- All about Budd -- Six minutes, twenty-two laughs -- The boys' club -- Guns, drugs, and Westwood -- Comedy university -- Richard's baroness, Steve's movie -- The funniest year ever -- Roommates -- The New Year's resolution --- Drugs and theft -- Order, please -- Diary of a young comic -- The gauntlet -- Comedians for compensation -- Choosing up sides -- Fire! -- The vote -- All on the line -- Dave's big night --The union forever? -- Jay's big flop -- "My name is Steve Lubetkin" -- A standing ovation -- Epilogue: the prisoner of memory.
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