Everyone knows Robin Williams, Dana Carvey and Paula Poundstone.
This is the story about their friends - the other jokers in the room, the ones who stayed in San Francisco, worked the clubs and rode a comedy movement – right up until the comedy bubble burst in 1992.
In the 1980s, the comedy scene in San Francisco wasn’t commercial. In the pursuit of brilliant comedy, nothing was too experimental, too bold or too crass. Unlike New York or Los Angeles, there were rarely TV cameras here. Comics weren’t jockeying for a spot on the Tonight Show. The real prize was making other comedians laugh.
These San Francisco headliners - Will Durst, Larry “Bubbles” Brown and Johnny Steele - were the comedians’ comedians. Today’s top comics across the country say these three are brilliant and gifted - among the very best in the business.
In this feature documentary, we watch as their careers begin to soar during the 1980s heyday of stand-up. But as they’re about to hit the big time, the scene implodes. Robin Williams called it a “comedic recession.” With the arrival of comedy on cable TV, hundreds of clubs close. The remaining clubs are bought up by entertainment giants. Local headliners are now obsolete. For club comics, years spent becoming masters of the art of standup suddenly seem worthless.
3 Still Standing is about how Will, Larry and Johnny fight for their art in an increasingly corporatized world that seeks young, TV-friendly faces and eschews controversy.
It’s a story for anyone who’s worried about being downsized. It’s about re-invention, resilience, and the search to remain true to yourself. And it’ll make you laugh.
An all-star supporting cast features Dana Carvey, Paula Poundstone, Michael Pritchard, Rob Schneider, Bobby Slayton and Robin Williams.