“I’m really proud to be premiering here. It’s comedy and there is this sort of rock and roll element to it. It feels like this is the perfect festival for us,” said Executive Producer Michael Aguilar.
The World Premiere of the new Showtime series I’m Dying Up Here , took place at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, but will make its debut this Sunday, June 4th at 10pm ET/9 CT.
The series follows the trials and tribulations of the LA comedy scene in the 1970s, with much of it based on executive producer Jim Carrey‘s personal experiences.
Jonathan Levine acts as director while David Flebotte performs the duty of showrunner for the TV series. The show features an ensemble cast including: Melissa Leo, Ari Graynor, Clark Duke, Michael Angarano, Andrew Santino, Stephen Guarino, Erik Griffin, RJ Cyler, and Al Madrigal. Levine is best known for directing the Golden Globe®-nominated film 50/50. His additional feature credits include The Night Before, Warm Bodies, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, and The Wackness. He directed the recent film Snatched starring Goldie Hawn (SXSWedu alumna) and Amy Schumer (SXSW Film alumna). Read our interview with David Flebotte below.
Q: Tell us a little about your series?
A: Set in L.A.’s infamous stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s, I’m Dying Up Here delves into the inspired and damaged psyches that inhabit the hilarious but complex business of making an audience laugh.
Q: What motivated you to tell this story?
A: I’ve been a fan of comedy since I was kid, starting with listening to Bill Cosby records and following such shows as All In The Family and M*A*S*H. I did some open mic and sketch comedy in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s and hung around with a lot of funny people. Add to that I’ve been working comedy writing rooms for the past 20 years so it felt like a great opportunity to work in a world that I truly love.
Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this TV series?
A: I hope they find it entertaining, honest and funny. It’s a fictional account of the time but we try to be as accurate as possible in our depiction of the time and energy that was the comedy circuit out here in LA after Carson moved here from NY. I hope that the audience finds it relatable. Granted the world of stand-up comedy is a bit rarefied, but there’s something universal in pursuing a dream and all the trials and tribulations that come with that pursuit. That there’s as much nobility and courage (as well as necessity) in failure as there is in success, and that one doesn’t happen without the other.
After you watch the pilot, be sure to check out our extended Q&A with the cast and crew, moderated by Doug Benson.
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