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David Letterman, Jay Leno, Robin Williams and Andy Kaufman and many other soon-to-be-stars were once young, broke and funny in 1970's LA. They were also friends...until one event changed everything I'm Dying Up Here chronicles the collective coming of age of the stand-up comedians who defined American humour 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-1970's 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, stand-up comics were as revered as rock stars.It was Comedy Camelot but, of course, it couldn't last. In the late 1970's 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 Leno, 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 incidentially tore apart their own close-knit community. Now Knoeldelseder 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 America's best-known comedic talents of the 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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781586483173
ISBN-10: 158648317X
Format: Hardback
(236mm x 156mm x 26mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: PublicAffairs,U.S.
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 7-Sep-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - William Knoedelseder

William Knoedelseder has been a journalist with the Los Angeles Times, executive producer of Fox Entertainment News and Vice President of News at USA Broadcasting. He is the author of Stiffed: The True Story of MCA, The Music Business and the Mafia and In Eddie's Name: One Family's Triumph Over Tragedy. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.

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