The ex-standup comic I married and I are enjoying a new series on Showtime called I’m Dying Up Here. It is apparently the brain-child of Jim Carrey (listed as executive producer) and he claims some of the sequences are based on his experiences.
Surprisingly it isn’t a comedy. I was afraid of something like “News Radio” was to, well — news radio (It weren’t no WKRP in Cincinnati!). But it is a drama populated by the types of people you would find in comedy clubs in the 1970s.
But it is dark! Jeez — is it dark! Of course the LA comedy club scene (fictionalized here) was full of
desperate climbers who would knife each other in the back and worse (think of bribing a homeless man to poop in your rival’s car). They are all jockeying for position and angling for a shot at the big time — mainly the Johnny Carson Tonight Show.
It is getting mixed reviews but I think that is because it isn’t for anybody. But those who have been or are currently in a comparable situation will find a lot to resonate with — and realize that times haven’t changed that much in 40 years.
I was just saying recently that you can’t count Jim Carrey out. The man is a pure genius and this project benefits from his involvement.