Sunday, January 06, 2013

I’m Dying Up Here (by William Knoedelseder)

Another book that I read in one giant gulp, this one about standup in the 70s. Makes a nice companion piece to Mark Maron's recent interview with Budd Friedman, the owner of the Improv.  (I'm told I should also listen to the Jimmie Walker interview. And the Robin Williams ones, if they're still available.)

The book is fascinating, if a little biased--the author is BFFs with Richard Lewis, and it shows; he also clearly got a lot of help from Tom Dessen, a comic I have never heard of but who plays a big role in this book (and played a very important role in the comics strike). There are a lot of pages dedicated to the strike of the Comedy Store, which is in some ways the least interesting part, and the book ends almost immediately after the strike is settled. I wanted a slightly different focus, a slightly longer epilogue, a little more detail. But overall, a really interesting read for comedy fans!

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