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The Big Snake
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Yes, stand-up is very tough. But here's the one solid upside that keeps people like me coming back to it: unlike screenwriting, I don't have to wait around for months (or years) for an agent or a manager or a lawyer or a studio or an actor to tell me what I've written is good. The audience tells me right away. And often what I've written is not good - and the silence can be brutal - but the immediate gratification of that laughter when it comes is so rewarding, so envigorating, it's nearly impossible to walk away from once you've experienced it.
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You write: "Some of the movie's funniest bits come from its shrewdly observed moments of the sort of comedic mean-spiritedness that dwells in the realm of show biz comedy." And that's dead-on. I've dabbled in stand-up over the last year, and in its first 45 minutes, FP paints a really accurate portrait of that world, where telling a lame joke or the wrong joke or the right joke at the wrong time can get you ostracized in a heartbeat. The movie only hints at the inherent self-loathing and insecurity driving most comics - but, as you point out, making a movie called MISERABLE PEOPLE probably wouldn't draw a crowd.
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