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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Born Standing Up A Comic's Life
Author: Steve Martin
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 acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgir...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781416553656
ISBN-10: 1416553657
Publication Date: 10/7/2008
Pages: 224
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 69 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A quick read - but very interesting and entertaining. I found Steve Martin to be a very smart man, and more human than i had expected from such a huge star. It gave me a greater appreciation of his talents, and i was not a huge fan of his, prior to reading this book. both my husband and i enjoyed reading about his growing up in OC and his rise to comedy fame.
reviewed Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life on
Helpful Score: 3
Interesting and quick read, but I wish he had spent more time on his SNL days and his movie career. The focus is almost entirely on his stand-up comedy days. Not as humorously written as I had expected, but there is the occasional laugh-out-loud line. Liked it well enough, but didn't love it.
reviewed Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life on + 147 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The funnyman behind the ubiquitous King Tut gets serious in his 2007 memoir, Born Standing Up, highlighting his rise to fame and the pitfalls and heartaches that came with it.

Martin speaks of his many struggles to obtain steadiness in performing, including unenthusiastic crowds and unrequited opportunities. Add in a few anxiety attacks, Saturday Night Live skits and sparing relationships and liaisons, and you have yourself the life of one "wild and crazy guy".

But before Martin hit the stages of some of the biggest U.S. arenas with his stand-up comedy, little Steve of the '50s began his antics with magic. His fascination with visual trickery quelled his performing bug for a few years, but his gift of the funny ultimately won him his appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and various television programs, sold-out headliner gigs and countless adoring fans.

Behind the fame and fortune, though, lay an entirely different person, suffering from never-ending anxiety attacks night after night, unintentionally putting his entire life on display under the spotlight, and receiving anything but raves about his career and gigs from his father. Years after breaking away from the intimate skits and inspiring audiences of his younger days, Martin sought a return to anonymity. His choosy, thorough approach to his inspiring movie career has ensured just that. But you have to admit - if the guy is so private, why is he writing a memoir?

Good question. But that's what makes this 200-page read interesting - it isn't like many other memoirs that spill scandalous secrets by the truckload. He instead allows his forgotten past to take center stage. Only a few juicy romantic tidbits are available in this book, and the youthful will find no mention of his later works such as Pink Panther, or the tale of his own making, Shopgirl. Martin just scratches the surface of these years with the '79 flick, The Jerk, and no matter how much I wanted to hear about its filming, there was only one mention of the comedic Three Amigos.

His bouts of loneliness throughout his whirlwind tour of the nation are sad, but not despondent; he doesn't attract sympathy because of his success, but you do want to give him a hug.

All in all, Martin knows how to write a good story, even his own. While his narration is fluent, detailed and wise, the occasional quip (especially the ones regarding former roommate, comedian Gary Mule Deer) help fans and foreigners alike relive the comedic magic that has captured a million laughs.
reviewed Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life on
Helpful Score: 1
Great book- Steve Martin has a wonderful voice, an intresting life and a straight forward storytelling method
reviewed Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
While this was only an overview of Steve Martin's early career, I found it quite interesting since the first person point of view illuminated events that I only saw at the time as a spectator and fan. It certainly emphasizes that "stardom" is never an overnight phenomenon, even if it seems that way from outside looking in. An interesting book and a quick read.
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reviewed Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life on
A fairly interesting look at the development of Steve Martin's stand-up comedy show. He got lucky.
reviewed Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life on
Great book. Real insight into being successful in show business.
reviewed Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life on
very insightful into what makes Steve tick and how much work he put into it.

I give it 3 and a half arrows-thru-the-head.

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Steve Martin (Primary Character)