“Kicking Through the Ashes: My Life as a Stand-Up in the 1980s Comedy Boom,” by Ritch Shydner

Almost four years ago, after appearing in the documentary, I Am Comic, comedian Ritch Shydner began walking back down Memory Lane through his life as a stand-up comedian during the comedy boom of the 1980s, sharing stories with his Facebook friends.

In the beginning of 2013, Shydner even shared more polished versions of two of these stories with The Comic’s Comic and my readers — then, it was part of his one-man show, “Looking for the Big Laugh.” You can read how Shydner recalled grabbing a key role as a series regular on FOX’s Married… with Children, only to see it become a what-could-have-been experience. Or this essay about his experiences performing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and how important that gig was to every stand-up comedian in the business.

Now Shydner has reworked, rewritten and collected even more stories, from his bit parts in big movies such as Steve Martin’s Roxanne and Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop II, to writing on sitcoms such as Roseanne, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, and The Mind of the Married Man, working for and writing material with Foxworthy, Ron White and Jay Leno, to his drug-fueled escapades and his road to recovery. Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Andy Kaufman, Robin Williams, and Rodney Dangerfield all feature in Shydner’s own road stories (he previously edited and published the 2006 comedian road stories book, “I Killed”), all in one place in the new book, “Kicking Through the Ashes: My Life as a Stand-Up in the 1980s Comedy Boom.”

It’s available now where books are sold.

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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