I’m Dying Up Here canceled by Showtime after two seasons


Showtime will not produce a third season of  I’m Dying Up Here. The endearing comedy-drama was shortlived, but several roles left quite an impression.

I’m Dying Up Here, led by executive produced by Jim Carrey (Kidding), never could gain traction with their expected audience. Though stand up comedy is experiencing a renaissance, Showtime’s effort to show the lives of the Pioneers fell just short.

Writing a stand-up series is tough because the jokes must be ‘actual’ funny, not laugh track funny. to write the series with some emotion, it could not be just jokes and jellybeans. The drama had to be real, and it had to manifest itself on the stage, and through the screen to the audience.

I’m Dying Up Here sought to pull back the layers of the comedy resurgence of the late 1970’s, fictionalizing Mitzi Shore’s Comedy Club scene. While it mostly held true to the era, it was likely impossible to live up to the book, or the mythical nature some of the real comedians have.

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Having said that, R.J. Cyler, Ari Grayno, and Melissa Leo, who was especially wonderful in her stern but lovingly blunt role as Goldie, all stood out and stole a few scenes. Erik Griffin and Al Madrigal showed a chemistry, and a contempt, that translated well no matter the setting.

When Goldie (Melissa Leo) was not metaphorically measuring her ‘lengths of audacity’, shall we say, against the executive men and their brand of  ‘funny business,’ she was corralling the comedians. Of course, that took guile and intuitive maternal turns, as she guided those who tried to dictate their own terms in the asylum that is show business.

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I’m Dying Up Here drew 168,000 viewers for the second season premiere, and kept steady numbers through the finale. If you’ve not had a good laugh or cry in a while, I’m Dying Up Here makes for a good binge streaming night.

Source: Variety