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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve…
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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Steve Martin (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5831633,569 (3.8)55
Biography & Autobiography. Performing Arts. Nonfiction. HTML:The riveting, mega-bestselling, beloved and highly acclaimed memoir of a man, a vocation, and an era named one of the ten best nonfiction titles of the year by Time and Entertainment Weekly.
In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away."

Emmy and Grammy Awardâ??winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.

At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.

Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his timesâ??the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies.

Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all
… (more)
Member:piers.rocks
Title:Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Authors:Steve Martin (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2007), Edition: 1st, 209 pages
Collections:Your library
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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin (Author) (2007)

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» See also 55 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
Brilliant! ( )
  bookem | Mar 27, 2024 |
Recently I’ve become a fan of Steve Martin’s fictional works. I had no idea such a famous comedian was also a fantastic fiction writer. So, I decided to read this memoir with the hopes of getting more insight to who this multitalented actor/author was. I wouldn’t say that’s exactly what I got. This book is very focused on his stand-up, but it is written beautifully and it shows a bit of the man behind the comedy. He is infinitely more interesting than I ever gave him credit for. ( )
  jbrownleo | Mar 27, 2024 |
I love Steve Martin, but I didn't know much about his early career as a stand-up comedian. He's very honest in this memoir about his family and the challenges he faced. I was fascinated by the description of the grind he went through to make a success of his career.

The audio is read by Martin himself. ( )
  katiekrug | Nov 15, 2023 |
Steve Martin, one of the most obviously intelligent comedy artists of his generation, has written a genial and serious book about the art of stand-up comedy as he saw it during his development in the 1960s and his enormous success in the 1970s. The book is charming and funny, yet it trades easy laughs for a real look at what went into the building of a spectacular career. Martin is authentic in his description of his upbringing in a family that didn't discover closeness until almost too late. It's a lovely and sometimes touching book. ( )
  jumblejim | Aug 26, 2023 |
Sometimes I think of Steve Martin like an older cousin I never met. We both lived in Garden Grove, California (I even performed on the stage of the theater at Garden Grove High School, which he attended) and we both worked at Disneyland (albeit 20 years apart). It's been fun watching him make good and this book does a good job chronicling that process, up through the beginning of his film career.

What works is that he doesn't sensationalize anything, but he doesn't shrink away from emotional issues, either. He really does seem to want to tell it like it was, successes and failures. What also comes through is the amount of persistent hard work it took to be an overnight success. He seems to personify the saying the luck is being ready to take advantage of an opportunity when it comes.

For any fan of Steve Martin, this is a must read. ( )
  zot79 | Aug 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
there is a tendency for critics to be so overwhelmed with surprise that they overburden the resulting volume with praise. In the case of Steve Martin's exquisitely pithy and precise memoir of his life as a stand-up comedian, however, the over-familiar accolade "beautifully written" really is the only one that does the job.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martin, SteveAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martin, SteveNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my father, mother, and sister, Melinda
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I did stand-up comedy for eighteen years.
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Biography & Autobiography. Performing Arts. Nonfiction. HTML:The riveting, mega-bestselling, beloved and highly acclaimed memoir of a man, a vocation, and an era named one of the ten best nonfiction titles of the year by Time and Entertainment Weekly.
In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away."

Emmy and Grammy Awardâ??winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.

At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.

Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his timesâ??the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies.

Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all

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