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August 12, 2017

Goodbye pop, hello punchlines: why comedy is replacing rock on screen

via The Guardian

TV producers and film-makers are trading in the glamorous world of music for the sweaty basements of standup

‘This was the most important era in standup comedy; this is when it all changed,” says Michael Aguilar, executive producer of Sky Atlantic’s high-profile new US import, I’m Dying Up Here. “This is when comedy went from setup-punchline jokes to storytelling, to therapy, to creating characters.” The era was the early 1970s, and the standup scene was Los Angeles, where the careers of many soon-to-be comedy superstars, including Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, David Letterman and Robin Williams, were just being launched. “In 1973, when Johnny Carson moved The Tonight Show from New York to LA, that became the scene,” continues Aguilar. “It moved from the east coast to the west coast, and these guys were suddenly the kings of the Sunset Strip.”

Related: I'm Dying Up Here review – 70s standup drama isn't about the punchlines

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