NSFW ‘I’m Dying Up Here’ Trailer Reveals Showtime’s New 70s-Set Stand-Up Series

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.

Here’s the official synopsis for I’m Dying Up Here:

The new one-hour SHOWTIME drama series I’M DYING UP HERE explores L.A.’s famed ‘70s stand-up comedy scene where the careers of legends such as David Letterman, Jay Leno and Richard Pryor were launched. The series delves into the inspired, damaged and complicated psyches of those who stand alone in front of an audience “dying” for fame, fortune and, with any luck, a shot on Johnny Carson. I’M DYING UP HERE stars Academy Award winner Melissa Leo (Wayward Pines, Treme), Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher), Michael Angarano (The Knick), Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine), Andrew Santino (Mixology), Erik Griffin (Workaholics), RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Al Madrigal (The Daily Show), and Jake Lacy (Obvious Child) as part of a large ensemble cast. This fictional group of competitive but close-knit comedians is mentored by “Goldie” (Leo), a brassy comedy club owner who rules over her business with an iron fist, but nurtures her comedians with tough love. For Goldie and her crew, there’s truly no such thing as an easy laugh. Recurring guest stars include Stephen Guarino (Happy Endings), Brianne Howey (Horrible Bosses 2), Jon Daly (Kroll Show), and Ginger Gonzaga (Togetherness). Guest stars include Emmy nominee Dylan Baker (The Good Wife), Oscar® nominee Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Oscar nominee Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull), with Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Martian) and Emmy Award nominee Alfred Molina (Chocolat).


Produced by SHOWTIME, I’M DYING UP HERE is created and executive produced by Dave Flebotte, and executive produced by Michael Aguilar and Golden Globe winner Jim Carrey, along with Christina Wayne for Endemol Shine Studios and Assembly Entertainment. The series is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by William Knoedelseder. The pilot was written by Flebotte and directed by Jonathan Levine.

Image via Showtime

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