Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

Born Standing Up A Comic s Life 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

  • Title: Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
  • Author: Steve Martin
  • ISBN: 9781416553656
  • Page: 328
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 ownThe 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 Award 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 times 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 time.

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      Published :2019-02-06T17:54:08+00:00

    About "Steve Martin"

    1. Steve Martin

      Stephen Glenn Steve Martin is an American actor, comedian, writer, playwright, producer, musician, and composer He was raised in Southern California in a Baptist family, where his early influences were working at Disneyland and Knott s Berry Farm and working magic and comedy acts at these and other smaller venues in the area His ascent to fame picked up when he became a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and later became a frequent guest on the Tonight Show.In the 1970s, Martin performed his offbeat, absurdist comedy routines before packed houses on national tours In the 1980s, having branched away from stand up comedy, he became a successful actor, playwright, and juggler, and eventually earned Emmy, Grammy, and American Comedy awards.

    798 thoughts on “Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life”

    1. This is a very enjoyable read. I like Steve Martin's writing, especially his novels Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and this memoir is a good behind-the-scenes look at how he came to craft his hyper-silly comedy routine of the 1960s and '70s. I was interested to learn how much philosophy Steve had studied and how he evolved his brand of comedy. Rather than cue the audience for a punchline, he got rid of the punchline altogether and went on with another bit, waiting for the audience to c [...]


    2. I usually avoid these types of books like the Plague. Celebrity autobiographies---ego unchained, coupled with a "Then I went here, then I did this, then I went there and did that. . ." boring-ass format. Nine times out of ten, books like these put me to sleep.Not so, Steve Martin's BORN STANDING UP. First of all, it's more focused than most celeb tell-alls. It centers around Martin's life leading up to and including his career as a standup comedian, not as an actor/filmmaker. So "Three Amigos" f [...]


    3. I bought the audiobook for Paul and I to listen to in the car for last weekends get-a-way. I just finished it now. ( Paul can listen to it later whenever he wants) I'm not sure what I was expecting- ( nothing really I guess)- I had a shiny new hard cover in my possession for years-- ( not sure where it came from), but I finally gave it to my aunt who adores the heck out of him. I don't 'not' like Steve Martin --- who doesn't like "Father of The Bride?"or any movie he did with Goldie Hawn. but I [...]


    4. Whimsical anecdotes of how an artist became a huge superstar by honing his skills of wit & comedy—funny & observant. Great autobiography. This one is possibly on par to Bob Dylan’s "Chronicles." Inspiring!


    5. "I was born a poor black child," I shouted repeatedly as a very little boy on our family trip down South. I'd heard Steve Martin say it in a movie that I didn't understand, but I did understand that it was an absurd thing to say, and that was enough for me! It was too much for my super white New England parents on that trip down through the Carolinas, Georgia, etc.At that young age and for years after, Martin's humor resinated with me and I never fully grasped why until reading his autobio, Born [...]


    6. If, before I read this, someone were to tell me that I would only laugh one time in the whole book, I would be like, “No way,” and he would be like, “Seriously, at one point a bird craps on Steve Martin’s head and that's literally the only time you’ll laugh in the whole book,” and I would be like, “Come on, really?” and he would be like, “Well, think about it: think about his material during this period and try to imagine how it would translate onto the page, and then think abo [...]


    7. I remember watching The Sunday Show in 1996 when Dennis Pennis buttonholed Steve Martin at a red carpet do somewhere – ‘Steve! Steve! Just one question—’ and then as Martin leaned in expectantly: ‘How come you're not funny anymore?’He looked genuinely distraught as he turned away (in fact it later emerged that he had cancelled all his press engagements as a result), but the trajectory he was on is one that's become familiar – from live stand-up to film comedies, and from film come [...]


    8. I loved this book so much because it was everything I subconsciously wanted it to be and nothing that I expected it to be. I thought it would be mostly about Martin's career as a primarily comedic actor and it basically ends at the onset of his film career. I thought it would be hilarious and filled with jokes and I think I actually laughed out loud about five times. And a part of me harbored some sort of belief that every person who saw Steve Martin do stand up comedy must have known they were [...]


    9. Steve Martin, one wild and crazy guy!So why did I find this book boring? I'm not quite sure.With a serious tone of voice, dryly recounting his childhood and his difficult relationship with his father, Steve Martin goes on to relate the story of his comedic life. But it was all so serious. There are very few funny asides, and there's very little information on his skits on SNL or his relationships with the cast members. I usually adore autobiographies in audiobook form, especially when they're na [...]


    10. I was upraised when I saw Caro’s review of this book and I definitely wanted to read a book written by a comic, who was with bunny ears, (a true witty playboy (ups, sorry, playgirl) bunny:D) My experience with memoirs is 50/50 (as before this one I read only 2, one was really good and heartbreaking (The Diary of a Young Girl) and the other was awful and heartpuking (Scar Tissue). I’m happy to say that this book belongs to really good and heartbreaking. "Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life" is a [...]


    11. By 1978, Steve Martin was the biggest selling act in the history of standup comedy. The idea that you could sell out the Universal Amphitheatre in L.A. with fans who wanted to hear your comedy was unheard of, kind of like Martin's act itself, which might be the very definition of "you-had-to-be-there". Plenty wanted to be, but by 1981, Martin left standup and never looked back. Until this memoir, that is, a crisp, clear shoot through the rapids of Martin's life from 1955 to 1980.I was being book [...]


    12. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)I hope this isn't too embarrassing a thing to admit, but when I was a kid I used to have Steve Martin's old comedy albums literally memorized; and I mean, literally, back in the late '70s and early '80s when he was at his commercial height, back when I was ten, eleven, twelve years old, I could literally [...]


    13. A book that moved quick and didn’t bullshit. Great writing, very subtle and smart jokes.My map of the book:


    14. I have always adored the bizarre stand-up of Steve Martin. I used to listen to it on my parents records (cassettes were already in by then, and it was definitely the 90s but whatever). I thought it was hilarious. I still do. I have a penchant for the absurd. I love the comedic pause. Steve Martin was a master at both of those.And after reading Born Standing Up, did I learn how Steve Martin got so fuckin' funny? Kinda, its the emotionally stunted life that many comics seem to have, a job history [...]


    15. I count my idols on one hand. When I was 18 I took a cross country road trip with my father during which we listened to Martin's LET'S GET SMALL on repeat for the entire length of New Mexico. The trip confirmed a few beliefs, yes my father was the greatest man on the planet, and yes Steve Martin was a close second. Martin's stand-up has still never been rivaled, a perfect blend of absurd with a straight face, as if his goal was to make the joke fly over the audience's heads. Many times there wer [...]


    16. The book has a short but universal question. Why do abused children feel ashamed? Nice language, love the Disney stories.


    17. I was just a kid when Steve Martin became Steve Martin, the biggest touring comic of all time. His absurdist brand of anti-humor did wonders to enliven my dull suburban childhood and I thought his Cruel Shoes essay, "How to Fold Soup," was one of the most brilliant things I'd ever seen. Born Standing Up is the story of how Steve Martin found his way into my suburban living room.Martin writes with thoughtfulness and clarity about the path he followed from his first job in a Disneyland magic shop [...]


    18. Martin's neat, self-ironic and interesting account on his beginnings in acting career, emphasising the years when he was doing a stand up comedy, made me rewatch (at 2 am last night) A Wild and Crazy Guy for the x-th time and giggle all the way through. Martin on stage and Martin the author seem to be two different people, and he is talking about it too. About the fame, expectations and all that jazz. About anxiety and depression coming with it, also, a little bit. He's classy and funny. And he [...]


    19. Wow. Big disappointment. I was hoping for some insight into this this man who was so hilarious in the 70s, yet disappeared to later reemerge as a family-friendly "light" comic actor. But this is an impossibility due to the fact that Martin seems to have little insight into himself.His book reads like a Filofax diary of who and where and what. What's missing is any genuine humanity or emotion. Is he married today? Has kids? Who knows because it's not addressed. He also appears to have less emotio [...]


    20. I am a huge fan of Steve Martin, to the point that even though I was probably a bit too young for it, Mom took me to see Roxanne in the theater. His SNL work and standup and early movies were a big part of forming the peculiar sense of humour that I have today.So next time *I* am laughing hysterically while the rest of the room looks on in silence, remember kids, it's all Mr. Martin's fault.This book, which I listed to as read by the author (I think it would have been funny to have it started to [...]


    21. If you’re at all interested in stand-up, you need to get your hands on a copy of this book. Steve Martin’s account of his first 18 years in the business – “10 years spent learning, four years spent refining, four years in wild success” – makes absorbing reading, full of the absurd humour and unsparing honesty of the comic’s best work.The former “wild and crazy guy” began his show business career as an aspiring boy magician who sold guidebooks at Disneyland, graduated to corny m [...]


    22. A while back I got Tim Conway's memoire, the audio. It was not only an interesting story it was filled with laughs. Since then I've "read/listened to" a few biography/memorie type books.This is much more a bio than the Conway book. Here we will get a lot of the background story of what made "Steve Martain, Steve Martain". Moving from beginnings to the present we get the workings of his mind, what he hoped to achieve in his life. He talks about his insecurities and even his "process" (if it can b [...]


    23. I enjoyed reading Steve Martin's memoir of his years in stand-up comedy. His job handing out guide books in Disney Land as a pre-teen led him to a love of magic, then to a love of performing on stage. I loved the hard work and thought he put into his act; honing it after years of trial and error. I think so many people today break into "the business" because of nepotism, but Martin did it by persevering. I first knew of him as the guy in the movie The Jerk, but he was also a writer for The Smoth [...]


    24. I listened to Steve Martin narrate this on audio, and it was a funny and endearing glimpse into his life and career. If you are a fan, you will enjoy it!


    25. I'm not the biggest Steve Martin fan, but I watched "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" a few months ago and my brother gave me his book "Cruel Shoes" in college, so I was interested to read his take on his stand-up years, which were a kind of anti-comedy that employed the banjo and purposely bad magic tricks. The book is only 200 pages, so it's concise and interesting thoughout. My favorite part was when he explained his theory of what he was trying to do:"What if there were no punch lines? What if the [...]


    26. This ended up getting three stars because you can't help but like Steve Martin. He's such a likable guy. I'm not familiar with his stand-up comedy (not sure if I should be anyway, age-wise), but I am somewhat familiar with his movies. (Bowfinger and Roxanne being two of my favorites).So I was a little disappointed that this book was a little boring for me as he explained how comedy and his act had changed throughout the years. I'm sure a lot of the jokes were going to fall flat in the book since [...]


    27. Pretty good. It was interesting.It’s not a lot of laughing (the way some comedians have done recently). It’s a memoir of Steve telling about his life starting with his first few jobs as a teenager and then going into standup. Later he does his first movie “The Jerk.” It mostly covers the period in the 60s and 70s.A few times I was impatient for it to be over. I’m not sure what would have made it better for me.Steve is fine as narrator of his book.DATA:Narrative mode: 1st person. Unabri [...]


    28. I listened to this book on my iPod while driving around town running errands---I've been listening to a lot of memoirs this way, lately---and I thought it was just so good. Steve Martin reads it himself and it's really interesting to find out everything that went into the development of his standup act, and why he no longer does it. A great read.



    29. I heard Steve Martin talk about this book a couple of weeks ago on NPR and he was brilliant. He's so low key about his celebrity it makes me want to sit and have a cup of coffee with him.In Martin's own words this book is "a biography, because I am writing about someone I used to know." It chronicles his childhood entrance into show business and follows him all the way through playing stadiums in the 1980s. What interested me most is his approach to doing stand up. I've often wondered what it's [...]


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