The Jerk is one of my favorite films and I've enjoyed many of his other films, but Steve Martin strikes me as a man who is somewhat embarrassed by his best work and wants to be taken much more seriously.
In the book we learn that his father seemed uncomfortable with his son's less than cerebral visual comedy and perhaps thats why Mr. Martin seems to overcompensate in interviews and in this short autobiography. Whilst there is much of interest for those looking for an inside view of the world of stand-up comedy, there is also much dry and serious analysis of how philosophy, art and cultural forces informed the many average jokes he proceeds to recite (out of character).
To me Steve Martin was funny mostly for the characters he created and his physical performance. Not for his word-play, stories, or zingers.
Not once did I guffaw, nor even chortle. This is not a funny book. Extracting jokes from their context and discussing them, sap all of the magic and joy from them.
I did smile once in a while reflecting on the comedy-acting masterpieces captured in The Jerk and on SNL. But it seems Mr. Martin is determined to demonstrate his intellectual chops rather than entertain his readers.
I still love him for giving me some of the funniest moments of movie/television magic I have known.
History Lover, Ancestry Fanatic, DIYer
Wish it covered more of his career after he became famous
An interesting story, but not a particularly funny tale. You won't hear Steve Martin doing many funny voices, routines, etc. Very dry telling of the beginnings of his career in stand-up.
I have followed Steve Martin since the King Tut days. I am in love with him. I know that Mr. Martin is shy and VERY smart. His fancy words tend to take away from the story. I think he should stick to writing plays. It's a much better genre for his talent.
Shake That Brain!
It was like Steve Martin came over to the house, sat down, and told me the story of his stand up years.
I can't decide: either the beginning, the middle, or the end.
I did have an extreme reaction. Fortunately, my dermatologist was able to help.
Yes. I love Steve Martin's unique voice. "Born Standing Up" is an incredibly detailed account of his early career on the stand up circuit. Boyfriend found it to be too "name droppy" but I took it to be a historical account of the beginning of stand up comedy as its own art form and resource for anyone interested in starting out in the industry.
Yes and we did (on a road trip).
Even in non-comic forms he's a very talented writer.
I've read much written by Steve Martin, but this was the first time I bought an audio book of his, so I was excited that he was also narrating. However, it didn't take long for disappointment to set in. After having listened to George Carlin, Woody Allen, Neil Gaiman and others narrate their own works, I had high hopes for Martin to narrate his own story. His tone was flat and matter-of-fact; didn't stir up empathy for him. I would have gotten more out of it having read it than listening to it. So whereas I would buy another book by Martin, I wouldn't buy an audio book with his narration. His narration made what would have been an interesting memoir rather boring.
I would have hired a professional narrator. The story is his own - can't improve on that.
I was looking to engage with an actor whom I've enjoyed since growing up in the 70s, but couldn't get past the feeling that he wasn't too interested in his own text. I wasn't expecting a "wild and crazy guy" with a voice out of The Jerk, but at least the voice that made such movies as Roxanne and LA Story entertaining and moving.
I have always loved Steve Martin. To this day, whenever someone goes to tell their story to me the line "I was born a poor black child" goes through my head and I smile. I love that Martin is this clean cut guy I always thought he was. That he worked so hard for so long to do something he really loved. I felt the discomfort and the inability to stop and his desire to remain a basically decent guy.
Yes. This was just a little flat in performance almost like Martin was reluctant to read it. I guess I'm used to him performing and being that crazy guy.
Anything else he is willing to share. (wait, maybe we want to hear what he isn't willing to share.)
Excellent story about an exceptional man.
I have nothing else to suggest in this area sorry
This is the only book that I have read that was written by Steve Martin.
I would not make a movie of this topic.
NO I don't have any additional comments.
I enjoyed the fact that I could download it to my phone, and not just stream it. There are several spots on my drives where there is no cell coverage, and being able to listen uninterrupted made it great
Steve Martin. I've always admired him, now I get the backstory of his life.
I love that it's his voice, talking about his life.
I was blown away that he worked at Disneyland (in the magic shop). I've watched his comedy, but never saw the magic part of a show.
Great book, by a great artist, delivered in the best possible way.