Showtime has unveiled a trailer for the upcoming drama series I’m Dying Up Here, which chronicles the stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s. The show is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by William Knoedelseder and is executive produced by Jim Carrey, exploring Los Angeles’ famed 70s comedy scene that launched the careers of comedians like David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Richard Pryor. The drama is an ensemble about the equal parts damaged and inspired aspiring comedians who populate the scene, with an impressive cast that includes Melissa Leo, Jake Lacy, Ari Graynor, Michael Angarano, Clark Duke, Andrew Santino, Erik Griffin, Al Madrigal, and RJ Cyler.
The pilot was written by creator/executive producer Dave Flebotte, who’s written for shows as varied as Ellen, The Sopranos, and Masters of Sex. There’s a strong Vinyl vibe to this trailer that’s hard to shake given the 70s setting, ensemble cast, and hazy aesthetic. No doubt Showtime thought this would be a favorable comparison when the show was greenlit, but Vinyl fizzled out incredibly quickly for an HBO series, and so one imagines I’m Dying Up Here will have to overcome some of those comparisons so soon after Vinyl crashed and burned.
The show looks interesting, though not exactly funny. The cast is certainly talented so the potential is there, but of the few stand-up sets glimpsed here there aren’t a lot of genuinely hilarious moments. Which is maybe the point considering the comedian characters are all up-and-comers. One promising nugget: the pilot was helmed by Jonathan Levine, whose versatile directorial efforts include the features 50/50, The Night Before, and the upcoming Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn comedy Snatched.
Watch the NSFW trailer for I’m Dying Up Here below. The first season’s guest stars include Sebastian Stan, Alfred Molina, Robert Forster, and Dylan Baker. The series premieres on Showtime on June 4th.