Stand up comedians arent always downers, and their life doesnt always suck. That era especially was a breeding ground of some of the most famous comedians of all time. I am not saying the show should be wacky and non-stop laughter but almost no one on the show really seemed to like being a comedian or working at Goldy's. Where is the Robin Williams or the Jay Leno style character? When you hear people talk about working for Mitzy Shore they thought she was a nutbar and could be vindictive but almost all of them speak of her highly and with respect/love, even the ones who went on strike. They look back at their time at the Store as great...not as some slog from one major catastrophe to another. The show should have balanced that better and would have been more liked if they had done so.
Parts of the show were great...but no one is going to go out of their to watch the show if the characters are lucky to have one moment of joy per season. Christ a dude ends up on Carson at the end of season 1 and spends all of season 2 ticked off at the world making little money and organizing a strike. It is just ridiculous and that is why people didnt latch on.