Stand-ups go to the movies

New documentary on comedy icons

A new feature-film documentary about the pioneers of American stand-up is in the works.

Filmmaker R.J. Cutler has bought the movie rights to the recently-published hardback Comedy At The Edge, which charted the early careers of such stars as Steve Martin, Richard Pryor and George Carlin.

The book, subtitled, How Stand-Up in the 1970s Changed America, was written by Richard Zoglin, a senior editor at Time magazine.

Cutler told showbiz trade journal Variety: ‘His combination of anecdotal storytelling and reporting and interviews with all of the subjects... just brings the whole era to life.’

He added that Zoglin has access to several decades' worth of ‘extraordinary’ archive footage, which could feature in the movie – alongside interviews with the key players.

‘Most of these figures are still alive today and have amazing stories to tell,’ Cutler added. ‘Stand-up comedy has never gotten the attention it deserves as a cultural force and an American art form.’

Click here to buy the book from Amazon.

Published: 20 Mar 2008

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