Born Standing up

Born Standing up

A Comic's Life

Book - 2007
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In the midseventies, 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 acclaimedNew York TimesbestsellersShopgirlandThe Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor toThe New Yorker, Martin has always been awriter. 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 ofThe Smothers Brothers Comedy Hourin the late sixties, and the transformative new voice ofSaturday Night Livein the seventies.Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before.Born Standing Upis a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Scribner, 2007
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed. --
ISBN: 9781416553649
Branch Call Number: 792.7028092 Marti 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 209 p. :,ill


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Sep 02, 2017

This memoir of Steve Martin's formative years and stand-up career is funny, touching and insightful. I love his dry humor, and his voice really comes through in this book. I especially enjoyed hearing how his life intersected with other entertainers' lives, including Linda Ronstadt, Carl Reiner, Johnny Carson and many more. Born Standing Up is a must-read for fans of Steve Martin. I also highly recommend his novel The Pleasure of My Company.

ArapahoeChristineS Oct 22, 2016

“In a sense, this book is not an autobiography but a biography, because I am writing about someone I used to know." Steve Martin is no "wild and crazy guy", and this book takes a general look at his beginnings, rise to comedic fame, and his sudden departure. Don't expect slap stick comedy, Martin's sometimes vague recollections, (as memories of more than 40 years ago are want to be) are honest and sometimes personal. This isn't a tell all, but rather, a peek into how one mans drive, perhaps because of his fathers emotional cruelty, pushed him into where he thought he wanted to be. It is also about the struggles of breaking into the comedy world, and the emptiness of being alone on the road. A short but interesting read particularly if you like Steve Martins early work.

CRRL_CraigGraziano Jun 26, 2015

Steve Martin looks back at his comedy career in a way that few artists are able to do. He not only has succeeded in his craft, he also has the luxury of being able to step back from the act and make sense of just what it was all about.

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Mar 19, 2015

Very interesting if you are a fan of Steve Martin or if you are a struggling stand-up comedian. I never realized how difficult a life it really is. You have to give the man credit for percevering through all the rejections and hardships. Even his own father didn't like his humor. B- -----Midas the Madman (PAY ME JACK!)

ChristchurchLib Sep 02, 2014

Steve Martin is a wildly successful entertainer who has spent years at the top of his field as a stand-up comedian, actor, author, and musician. In this enchanting memoir, he looks back over his years in stand-up comedy and reflects on the effort, discipline, and originality that were necessary to achieve his goals. From his years working at Disneyland to his time as a writer for television's Smothers Brothers to the success he achieved on stage, Martin's autobiography is a "spare, unexpectedly resonant remembrance of things past" (Entertainment Weekly).Popular Culture newsletter September 2014.

willy56 Oct 04, 2013

I saw Steve twice in the early 70's when he was touring and backing up the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He was very funny and I enjoyed his act. This was before his wide appeal kicked off and all the catchphrases were common knowledge. I had hoped this book would tell me about Steve Martins' life and how he became the comedian and his relationships. You know, the stuff that people put in biographies and memoir's.
This book has next to nothing of that information and I was disappointed. He barely mentioned his sister or wife. Does he have children? I can't tell you as he never mentioned his family life.
Not a great book if you want insight into the man, but if all you want to know is how he developed his routines, this will tell you.

Feb 01, 2013

This is an extraordinary insight in what it takes to "make it" - an acting extrovert who is mentioned in other memoirs as "amazingly shy" - Michael Caine. You don't need to love SMs whacky humor to gain a lot from this (but it helps). As always when read in person it adds enormous depth (yes he WAS there)

RONROSARIO Jul 18, 2012

Think you know everything about Steve Martin? Pfft. It's true what they say, "Comedians take from the darker, sadder parts of their lives." Steve Martin is no different. A man, a comedian, and one who has lived through his own share of ups and downs. Read, find out, and learn.

May 26, 2012

am a fan of many Steve Martin movies and shows like The Jerk, the Czech brothers, Planes Trains & Automobiles, etc. so I was expecting this autobiography to be funny. Mostly it is an account (99% work related) of his rise to fame... like naming in which club he was performing, how many seats were there, and what his take-home pay was, as well as sometimes describing when he came up with a famous joke.

I'd like to know more about the personal side, like his hobbies, marriages, children, interactions with other celebrities/comedians, etc.

By the end of the book, I had a feeling that he was bragging. He gives you the impression that he thinks he is a comic genius. There are tonnes of other comedians out there who are talented and humble! Makes you believe the negative things other comedians have reported about him being rude to them.

Dec 30, 2011


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ArapahoeChristineS Oct 22, 2016

“In a sense, this book is not an autobiography but a biography, because I am writing about someone I used to know."

RONROSARIO Jul 14, 2012

This book is proof that there is more to Steve Martin than what we saw on TV or the stories we've heard about him before.


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RONROSARIO Aug 10, 2012

Comedian Steve Martin's life documenting birth til fame shot through him like a fake arrow through the head.

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