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Download I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Standup Comedy's Golden Era Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Im Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Standup Comedys Golden Era (Unabridged), by William Knoedelseder
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (339 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Knoedelseder Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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I'm Dying Up Here chronicles the collective coming of age of the standup comedians who defined American humor during the past three decades. Born early in the Baby Boom, they grew up watching The Tonight show, went to school during Vietnam and Watergate, migrated en masse to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, and created an artistic community unlike any before or since.

They were arguably the funniest people of their generation, living in a late-night world of sex, drugs, dreams, and laughter. For one brief shining moment, standup comics were as revered as rock stars. It was Comedy Camelot but, of course, it couldn't last.

In the late 1970s, William Knoedelseder was a cub reporter assigned to cover the burgeoning local comedy scene for the Los Angeles Times. He wrote the first major newspaper profiles of Jay Leno, David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, and others. He got to know many of them well. And so he covered the scene too when the comedians--who were not paid for performing at the career-making-or-breaking venue called the Comedy Store---tried to change an exploitative system and incidentally tore apart their own close-knit community.

Now Knoedelseder has gone back to interview the major participants to tell the whole story of that golden age and of the strike that ended it. Full of revealing portraits of many of the best-known comedic talents of our age, I'm Dying Up Here is also a poignant tale of the price of success and the terrible cost of failure - professional and moral. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Streator Johnson | 2/19/2014

    " A fascinating history of stand up comedy in the 70's. A subject I know next to nothing about. Enjoy it thoroughly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jeff | 2/13/2014

    " Great book that delves into the comedy scene of the 1970s when Jay Leno, Letterman, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams and others were all coming up. Very fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jon Finkelstein | 2/7/2014

    " 1/3 through and I love it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brian DiMattia | 2/5/2014

    " Interesting history of the time period, the industry, and the artistry that makes a stand-up comedian. The author brought personal insight into it and made a bunch of characters you've heard about and from into very real people who, for awhile, had a terrific community of support and artistic development going. "

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About the Author

William Knoedelseder spent twelve years as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, where his groundbreaking coverage of the recording industry for the newspaper’s financial section resulted in the critically acclaimed book Stiffed: A True Story of MCA, the Music Business, and the Mafia. Knoedelseder has also been a television executive, creating, managing, and producing news programs for Knight Ridder, Fox, and the USA Network. At USA, he was vice president of news. His book I’m Dying up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy’s Golden Era has been optioned for film by actor Jim Carrey. He lives in Woodland Hills, California.