Interview, Audio: Cindy Caponera, TV Writer for ‘I’m Dying Up Here’

Chicago – One of the great new premium channel TV series, which piggybacked on the “Twin Peaks” return on the Showtime Network, is “I’m Dying Up Here.” Set in the 1970s, it tells the stories of fictional stand up comedians in Los Angeles, and one of the Consulting Producers and series writers is Cindy Caponera.

Ari Graynor as Cassie in ‘I’m Dying Up Here’

Photo credit: Showtime Network

Caponera wrote the latest episode, “Girls Are Funny, Too,” which focused on Cassie (Ari Graynor), as she tries to break new ground in an era where women in comedy had even more obstacles in a man’s show business world. The episode was loose, poignant and funny, and highlighted the excellent cast, which includes Oscar winner Melissa Leo as Goldie, the owner of the club that the stand up comics perform in. Add in Jake Lacy, Al Madrigal, Andrew Santino, Erik Griffin and Rj Cyler,
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I'm Dying Up Here review – 70s standup drama isn't about the punchlines

The Jim Carrey-produced show about comics trying to navigate La’s 70s comedy scene shows us the tragedy and darkness behind the jokes

Comedy is inherently funny, but its backstory is notably less so. Behind the scenes there’s tragedy and darkness, which usually means that shows about comedians aren’t so much about punchlines, more the people who end up being one. That’s the heart of Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here. It’s based on reality when, in the early 1970s, comedians flocked to Los Angeles, trailing the move of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson from New York to the west coast. The struggles of comics like Andy Kaufman, Richard Pryor and Jim Carrey as they rose to fame at La’s Comedy Store was the subject of William Knoedelseder’s 2009 book, which this show turns into a fictional struggle.

I’m Dying Up Here,
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How Showtime’s ‘I’m Dying Up Here’ Recreates ’70s Comedy Club Scene

How Showtime’s ‘I’m Dying Up Here’ Recreates ’70s Comedy Club Scene
Comedian Judy Gold appears in episode three of “I'm Dying Up Here,” the Jim Carrey-produced Showtime ensemble series premiering Sunday that fictionalizes the infamous early 1970s Los Angeles comedy scene, where a slew of real-life icons like David Letterman, Jay Leno, Andy Kaufman, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Elayne Boosler first rose to prominence and thousands of other young hopefuls followed suit on the heels of Johnny Carson’s decision to move “The Tonight Show” to the West Coast in 1972.

On the new show, Gold plays an aging comic named Judy Elder, who’s vying for a second shot at stardom on the stage of her childhood friend Goldie Herschlag—the tough-as-nails owner of an L.A. comedy club that bears a striking resemblance to The Comedy Store and its real-life proprietor Mitzi Shore.

Yet “I’m Dying Up Here” co-creator and executive producer Dave Flebotti says “Goldie has an entirely different energy
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Flashback: Jim Carrey Takes Et to L.A.’s Legendary Comedy Club That Later Inspired ‘I’m Dying Up Here’

Flashback: Jim Carrey Takes Et to L.A.’s Legendary Comedy Club That Later Inspired ‘I’m Dying Up Here’
Before Bruce Almighty, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective or even In Living Color, there was only one way to experience the comedy magic of Jim Carrey: onstage. Over countless late nights in the ‘70s and ‘80s, thousands of people watched stand-up comedians such as Carrey hone their craft at the Los Angeles club The Comedy Store. The beginning of his 10,000-mile journey from Ontario, Canada, to stardom in the U.S. began with a single step on stage at the legendary venue, which serves as the setting of his new Showtime drama, I’m Dying Up Here, exploring the lives and careers of up-and-coming comedians.

“I came here when I was 17, on a bus, basically, and got off at The Comedy Store,” Carrey told Et in 1992, which at the time was just two years into his run on the Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color. Run by co-founder Mitzi Shore (also mother to the actor Pauley
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TV Review: Jim Carrey’s ‘I’m Dying Up Here’ on Showtime

TV Review: Jim Carrey’s ‘I’m Dying Up Here’ on Showtime
Not quite midway through the first season of “I’m Dying Up Here,” Richard Pryor shows up and gives the entire enterprise a kick in the pants.

Pryor, played with live-wire energy by Brandon Ford Green, is not a major presence in the drama, it should be noted. Versions of real-life people are scattered throughout “I’m Dying Up Here” — Dylan Baker is a perfectly amiable yet chilly Johnny Carson, for instance — but the show is not, for the most part, a behind-the-scenes story about household names. The 10-part series, based on a non-fiction book by William Kneodelseder about the Los Angeles comedy scene of the ’70s, does boast Jim Carrey as an executive producer, but its characters are, for the most part, fictional composites.

And too often, a number of them are a good deal less interesting than the show’s version of Pryor. The series spends a lot of time on truths that are fairly
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Legends and Groundbreakers Honoree Louie Anderson Reflects on His Long Comedy Career

Legends and Groundbreakers Honoree Louie Anderson Reflects on His Long Comedy Career
Louie Anderson got his start in comedy on a dare.

As a young man in Minnesota in the late 1970s, Anderson went to a comedy club with some friends. He wasn’t impressed.

“It was my fault because I said the comedians who were up there weren’t very funny,” he recalls. “That backfired on me. People said, ‘Why don’t you go up there?’ I said, ‘Ok, I will.’”

Within a week Anderson was performing on open mic night.

“I remember I wrote these jokes all week and I’d ask people if they thought they were funny,” Anderson says. “They were mostly about being a fat kid growing up. I was terrible with the mic technique, I was way too close.”

But almost instantly, Anderson, who is being honored by Variety as part of their “Legends and Groundbreakers” series at the Just for Laughs fest, started getting attention. A
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The John Kreng Interview

John Kreng is one of the most hard working actors/stuntman/fight and stunt corrdinators working in the industry today. Through his time working in the movie industry, John has worked with some of the very best which includes Jet Li, Yuen Wah, Tsui Hark, David Carradine, Steven Spielburg and many more outstanding talents.

John Kreng is also the author of the in depth book on screen fighting called Fight Choreography: The Art Of Non Verbal Dialogue, he was a cast member of The Jade Trader which went on to win the most outstanding cast performance award at the 10th Action on film, International film festival. John, also has years of Martial Arts experience behind him, dedicating his time learning many different styles and been taught by some of the very best masters from around the world (Which he will speak about in this interview).

John also worked on the
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Louis C.K. 'Disappoints' on 'Letterman,' Talks 'Deflategate'

After the "historic" Northeast blizzard forced Louis C.K. to cancel his fourth show at Madison Square Garden, the comedian made a last-minute appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, where he delved into a topic both timely and near to his heart: Disappointing people.

Despite several prior sold-out shows at Msg, C.K. said that every time he looks out into the throngs of people, he focuses only on a select handful: "There's at least, in 15,000 people, 1,000 disappointed people," C.K. cracked. "And I see them all; I see them still today.
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'Off the Cuff' Podcast: Pauly Shore Explains Why He's Just Like Nascar

'Off the Cuff' Podcast: Pauly Shore Explains Why He's Just Like Nascar
We could not have been more excited to have Pauly Shore on this episode of Off the Cuff, considering that Encino Man and Son in Law were strangely seminal movies in our '90s upbringing. Shore has a new documentary premiering on Showtime, Pauly Shore Stands Alone, that follows him on a comedy tour through the Midwest as he also grapples with an ailing mother (Mitzi Shore, founder of La's historic club The Comedy Store) and bigger life questions, like whether or not to have a baby and if his online dating profile should be of the real him or one

read more
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TV Review: AOL’s ‘Makers’

“Makers,” an AOL-backed initiative to chronicle women’s strides in traditionally male-dominated fields, kicks off with a decidedly entertainment-industry flavor, with the first two hours devoted to “Women in Comedy” and “Women in Hollywood.” Those broad topics, admittedly, represent a lot to chew on in just an hour, but this PBS series does a credible job of racing through highlights while enlisting well-placed voices — including, in the premiere, the late Joan Rivers — to address the inroads women have made, and the doors that remain tough to kick open.

While future chapters include “Space,” “Politics,” “Business” and “War,” the first two are closely related, and are probably the most accessible.

“Comedy is masculine,” Rivers explains of the standup field, and the filmmakers (the first two docs are narrated by Leslie Mann and Julia Roberts, respectively) chronicle how Phyllis Diller broke through by lampooning herself, giving way to Rivers and the many who have followed.
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'Pauly Shore Stands Alone' Doc Trailer Shows Comedian's Struggles

The common phrase of "15 minutes of fame" has become increasingly less relevant as the dawn of the internet and reality television has made the window for celebrity idolatry even smaller. One such actor whose time in the spotlight came and went was Pauly Shore. After hitting it big in the 90s with comedies like Encino Man, Son-in-Law, In the Army Now and more, Shore lost all that fame and glory. But Shore is still a stand-up comic at heart, growing up around icons like Sam Kinison and sharing the fame of The Comedy Store, founded by his mother Mitzi Shore. Now a new documentary called Pauly Shore Stands Alone focuses on his comedy tour across the Midwest along with his personal struggles. Watch! Here's the first trailer for the documentary Pauly Shore Stands Alone from Deadline: On the documentary, Shore says: “A lot of these people don’t know that
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Pauly Shore Documentary Acquired By Showtime

  • Deadline
Pauly Shore Documentary Acquired By Showtime
Exclusive: Showtime has picked up Pauly Shore’s revealing road documentary Pauly Shore Stands Alone and slated it to air December 4. The feature-length film directed by and starring Shore tracks the popular ’90s actor and comedian as he embarks on a stand-up tour across the Midwest while grappling with aging, fading fame and his relationship with his mother, Comedy Store founder Mitzi Shore, who has Parkinson’s. Unlike his 2003 directing debut Pauly Shore Is Dead, the new documentary peels back the curtain on the raw, more serious side of Shore’s life on the road. (Watch the trailer above.)

“A lot of these people don’t know that ‘Son-In-Law’ grew up among comics like Sam Kinison,” Shore told me from his latest stand-up stop in Orlando. “The tour was booked, and I was going through a peculiar time. I was happy on the road as opposed to being home,
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LOLesbian: "We Killed" and the gay women of comedy

Tags: SNLWe KilledbooksBook ReviewsEllen DeGeneresSandra BernhardLily TomlinIMDb

It's crazy to read a book like Yael Kohen's We Killed and know that people still make statements like "Women aren't funny." The newly released oral history of women in comedy over the last 50 years is a reminder that not only are women hilarious, but they are smart, persistent and unwilling to back down when faced with the sexism and adversity they've been dealt whether it's been in comedy clubs, writing rooms or late night TV shows.

Comedy is not just entertainment: It has the power to enlighten and educate, no matter how subtle it might be presented. What you'll get from We Killed is a sense of how progressive women have proven to be, from the pioneers like Phyllis Diller and Elaine May to the alternative comics of the '90s like Janeane Garofalo up through today's boundary-smashing Sarah Silverman, for whom no topic is untouchable.
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What’s So Funny About the Middle East?

What’s So Funny About the Middle East?
Getty Images Ahmed Ahmed

In the wake of September 11th, my life took a left turn into a world I never saw coming and suddenly I was hurled into a cross fire of hatred, racial profiling and misunderstanding. Up until that day, Arab-Muslims in America had always been viewed in such a way that made it difficult for the average person to identify with, and then it got worse. At the time, I was an out-of-work actor living in Hollywood
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'Cyrus,' 'Easy A,' 'Kick-Ass' lead Comedy Awards movie nominations

  • Pop2it
Comedy Central is jumping into the awards show fray with the first annual Comedy Awards. Nominees were selected by the Comedy Awards Board of Directors, which includes (among others): Stephen Colbert, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Seth MacFarlane, Conan O'Brien, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Sharon Sheinwold Jackson, Mitzi Shore, Jon Stewart, Lily Tomlin and Sandy Wernick.

The movie nominees are led by "Cyrus," "Easy A" and "Kick-Ass" with three nominations apiece. The winners are being selected by professionals from the comedy community-including producers, writers, performers, directors and stand-ups. But fans can also have their say at the official website, voting in all categories and actually nominating in two online-only categories.

The awards show will tape March 26 in New York City and will air April 10 on Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, VH1, Cmt and Nick At Nite.

Here's the full list of nominees:

Comedy Series

"30 Rock
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Comedy Central/MTV Networks' Comedy Awards Announce Nominations

Comedy Central and MTV networks just announced the nominations for their inaugural Comedy Awards, which will air on April 10. The nominations span 15 categories in TV and film, including best comedy series and film. The best comedy series field includes awards favorites 30 Rock, The Office and Modern Family, along with largely overlooked off-beat comedies It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Eastbound & Down. 30 Rock leads the TV categories with seven noms. The film field is led by Easy A, Cyrus and Kick-Ass with four noms each, including best movie where they will face Get Him to the Greek and The Other Guys. Nominees were selected by the Comedy Awards' Board of Directors that includes James Burrows, Stephen Colbert, Billy Crystal, James Dixon, Whoopi Goldberg, Brad Grey, Caroline Hirsch, Martin Lesak, Seth MacFarlane, Adam McKay, Jimmy Miller, Conan O'Brien, Peter Principato, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Jay Roach, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Rory Rosegarten,
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Hanks has comedy in store

Hanks has comedy in store
Tom Hanks loves his comedy. You just have to glance at his CV to realise that. Well, now the funnyman is looking to channel that love into a film that traces the roots of Los Angeles’ famed Comedy Store. Developing the project at his Playtone Productions offices, the flick will revolve around the life of Comedy Store founder Mitzi Shore. It’s based on the novel I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy's Golden Era/. Over the years, Mitzi’s venue hosted the likes of Woody...

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Tom Hanks Developing Film on History of The Comedy Store

Not only do I enjoy laughing, but I seek out comedy like a detective, and follow stand-up comedians like others follow indie rock bands: it's an obsession. So it pleases me immensely to hear from Pajiba that Tom Hanks and his Playtone Productions banner are developing a film based partially on the life of Mitzi Shore, but moreso on her ownership of the staple comedy club in Los Angeles, The Comedy Store, which served as the starting point for dozens of comedians who are nothing short of comedy icons today. The narrative is based on the book I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy's Golden Era. Don't let the fact that Mitzi Shore is also the mother of Pauly Shore change your opinion, because her venue can be credited with the foundation of careers for comedians like Eddie Murphy, Tim Allen, Chevy Chase, Jim Belushi, Jim Carrey,
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Buzz Break: The First of The Last

Buzz Break: The First of The Last
· The teaser posters for M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender have been released. (There's one more after the jump. Twist!)

· Guy Ritchie is leaving Lobo in the lurch to focus on a fast-tracked Sherlock Holmes sequel.

· Bill Paxton will sub in for Dennis Quaid in Steven Soderbergh's Knockout.

· Tom Hanks's Playtone is developing a movie based on Mitzi Shore and the La fixture The Comedy Store. Pauly Shore's so psyched right now!

· Punishing director Gaspar Noe (Irreversible, Into the Void) cried at Avatar. Twice.
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Tom Hanks Developing Film Based on The Life of Mitzi Shore and The History of The Comedy Store

Pajiba is reporting that Playtone Productions (which is owned by Tom Hanks) is now developing a movie based on the life of Mitzi Shore . Shore, who is also Pauly Shore’s mom, owned L.A.’s The Comedy Store during the stand up comedy boom of the 70’s and 80’s. The venue has now become an important and legendary part of comedy history with such comedians as Eddie Murphy, Tim Allen, Chevy Chase, Jim Belushi, Jim Carrey, David Letterman, and Jay Leno getting their start there. Chances are if you’ve seen a biography of any older stand up comedian on The Biography Channel, you’ve heard them mention The Comedy Store.

The film’s narrative will be based on the nonfiction book I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy’s Golden Era by William Knoedelseder. The book focuses on the time period during the
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