Born Standing up

A Comic's Life

Martin, Steve

(Book - 2007)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Born Standing up
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 : Scribner, 2007
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 1416553649
Branch Call Number: 792.7028 M383b 2007
Characteristics: 209 p. :,ill. ;,23 cm


From Library Staff

Contrary to popular belief, Steve Martin was never a cast member of SNL. However, as one of the original "five timers". His rise to comic fame would have been less of a wild and crazy ride without the show.

In a memoir full of humor and candor, Martin shares his personal itinerary as he negotiates the maze of honing his profession and the pitfalls he avoided.

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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.

Apr 24, 2014
  • CraigGraziano rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

In Born Standing Up, 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.

Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/born_standing_up_martin

Jul 18, 2012
  • RONROSARIO rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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
  • smichal rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

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.

Jul 19, 2011
  • wiltonsugiyama rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It shed a lot of light on Steve Martin the person, a remarkable human being. Understated and a small masterpiece. Very well written.

Mar 29, 2011
  • JUGEY rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved him before I read this but and tripled loved him after. Great book....brilliant guy!

Feb 20, 2011
  • harkij rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I was kinda expecting Steve Martin's memior to be extrodinarily hilarious, but it wasn't. The humor was often ironic and subtle. Nonetheless, the book was entertaining and interesting.

Jan 22, 2011
  • jc041573177 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Steve is a fine writer, and tells his story here of how he worked his way into show business, became the biggest stand up act ever, and finally left stand up comedy never to return.

Jun 30, 2008
  • RonNasty64 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What a great book. Martin brings us in his time machine and we all re-live his life as a stand up comedian. Comparing himself to the Weinermobile, you understand why he gave up that gig. Still, with snipits of his stand-up routines left me nostalgic for hearing more of them.


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Aug 10, 2012
  • RONROSARIO rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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


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Jul 14, 2012
  • RONROSARIO rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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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