Showtime orders “I’m Dying Up Here” to series, looking back at 1970s Los Angeles comedy scene

The comedy boom of the 1970s in Los Angeles will explode again onscreen on Showtime in 2016 as the cable network announced today it’d ordered the adaptation of memoir I’m Dying Up Here to series.

It films this fall in Los Angeles.

The announcement came during Showtime’s turn at the winter TV Critics Association (TCA) convention.

From Showtime’s official announcement:

We’ve picked up new one-hour comedy I’M DYING UP HERE from executive producer Jim Carrey to series!  Set in L.A.’s celebrated, infamous stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s, during which the careers of many of the comedy superstars began, the series delves into the inspired and damaged psyches that are required to stand alone in front of an audience and make them laugh. From executive producer Jim Carrey, I’M DYING UP HERE stars Academy Award winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Louie), Ari Graynor (For A Good Time Call), Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Office), Michael Angarano (The Knick), Andrew Santino (Mixology), RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Erik Griffin (Workaholics) and Stephen Guarino (Happy Endings) as part of a large ensemble cast.

Produced by SHOWTIME, I’M DYING UP HERE is written and executive produced by Dave Flebotte (Masters of Sex, Will & Grace, Desperate Housewives), and executive produced by Golden Globe winner Jim Carrey and Michael Aguilar (The Departed, Semi-Pro), and Christina Wayne (Copper) for Endemol Shine Studios and Assembly Entertainment. The pilot was directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Night Before).

Journalist William Knoedelseder wrote the book, centering it around the comedians who gathered at and around The Comedy Store on L.A.’s Sunset Strip. The Showtime version casts Leo as the comedy club owner, Goldie, in place of the Store’s legendary owner, Mitzie. Graynor, Santino, Cyler, Griffin and Guarino play the club’s regular stand-up comedians, while Angarano and Duke play stand-ups who just made the move to Hollywood from Boston’s comedy scene.

Pictured above: Stephen Guarino as Sully, Brianne Howey as Kay, Jon Daly as Arnie, Michael Angarano as Eddie, RJ Cyler as Adam, Ari Graynor as Cassie, Andrew Santino as Bill, Melissa Leo as Goldie, Clark Duke as Ron and Erik Griffin as Ralph.

This bystander footage shot during filming of the pilot in November shows not only how they turned back the clock in Los Angeles, but also gives a nice lingering look at David Bowie via the record store posters across the street.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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