TV Club: I’m Dying Up Here takes a busy behind-the-stage look at stand-up in its first episode

In 10 or 15 years, will there be gritty cable dramas about the making of gritty cable dramas? Networks like HBO and Showtime clearly hunger to get behind the scenes of culturally galvanizing art, and they haven’t had much luck digging into the world of rock and roll, with HBO’s Vinyl and Showtime’s Roadies not making it to a second season despite the formidable, rock-loving filmmakers behind the scenes. For the moment, both premium channels seem to have moved on to try their hands at stand-up comedy. This time HBO takes on the contemporary scene, with this spring’s already-renewed Crashing, and Showtime exploring the smoky, debauched ’70s with I’m Dying Up Here, a fictionalized adaptation of William Knoedelseder’s book about the comedy scene in Los Angeles.

It’s an easy baby step to make, because as an old adage goes, all comedians want to …

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