In the 1980s and the 1990s, HBO’s annual Young Comedians Special was the ultimate launching pad for emerging comics looking to break into the world of show business. The Young Comedians Special produced some of the most recognizable—and bankable—comedic stars of all time, including Sam Kinison, Bob Saget, Jerry Seinfeld, and Judd Apatow. But what about the ones who didn’t exactly make it?
In Five Minutes to Kill, actor and comedian Fred Stoller—the Kindle bestselling author of 2012’s My Seinfeld Year—tells the story of the Young Comedians Special in 1989. He and five other talented, then-unknown comics took the stage with the hopes that their five-minute sets would propel them to fame and fortune. Some, like David Spade and Rob Schneider, hit it big; others didn’t. By turns hilarious and heart-wrenching, Five Minutes to Kill is the bittersweet story of what happened to six of America’s funniest people after their first big breaks.