EXCLUSIVE: Jim Carrey Reflects on 'Really, Really Hard Times' Getting His Start in Stand-Up Comedy

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Nobody understands the struggles of a comic like Jim Carrey. The two-time Golden Globe winner got his start in stand-up comedy and is using his experiences to fuel the new Showtime series, I’m Dying Up Here.

The show is set in the ‘70s Los Angeles comedy scene and focuses on the pressures comedians face to put on a good performance. Carrey, who executive produced the series, spoke to ET’s Leanne Aguilera at the premiere about his own career past.

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“This show is what I've wanted to do for a very long time,” Carrey told ET. “And Michael Aguilar and Dave Flebotte helped me bring it to life in ways that I could never imagine. But I always, I always wanted to show the darkness where these diamonds are formed, you know?”

Though he’s gone on to be successful, Carrey admitted that it didn’t necessarily start out that way.
“It's a series of little explosions of excitement and really, really hard times,” he said. “Some nights I'd go to the store and I'd be a king and everybody would revere what I did on stage, and the next night I would be experimenting and bomb so badly that I would have to crawl under the piano for the next four acts and close the lid on myself. It was insane.”

Carrey added that there are moments from his own life that are sprinkled into the show “from living in a closet to waking up the first morning in my new house to a girl cooking bacon with no pants on.”

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“There's little pieces of me in each character, and it's really gratifying to see it,” he said. “I'm very proud to be the one to kind of bring this era to light.”

Carrey also opened up about comedian Kathy Griffin’s recent controversial photo shoot. To hear his thoughts, watch the clip below.

I’m Dying Up Here
premieres June 4 at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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