We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Born Standing Up Audiobook

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

Regular Price:$23.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

In the mid-70s, 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. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

At age 10 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.

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 60s, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the 70s.

©2007 Steve Martin; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

2008 Grammy Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album

"Absolutely magnificent. One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written." (Jerry Seinfeld)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (5699 )
5 star
 (2947)
4 star
 (1841)
3 star
 (736)
2 star
 (134)
1 star
 (41)
Overall
4.3 (4024 )
5 star
 (2152)
4 star
 (1230)
3 star
 (515)
2 star
 (104)
1 star
 (23)
Story
4.5 (4038 )
5 star
 (2728)
4 star
 (894)
3 star
 (324)
2 star
 (71)
1 star
 (21)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Happy Helena 04-12-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Understand his success: work, work, work."

    Martin's success in the world of comedy and show business is marked by his unrelenting perfectionism and practice, practice, practice. While this slice of his autobiography is revealing of his hard work and of his decency, one does not hear too much of his private life now (which is perfectly OK). He seems a real intellectual, artist, and person who's curious about life, which is what makes him interesting. What makes him funny we've all seen. This book goes a long way to showing what makes him tick. Liked it a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rena Los Angeles, CA, United States 03-31-13
    Rena Los Angeles, CA, United States 03-31-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stayed Cracking Up"
    Would you listen to Born Standing Up again? Why?

    Yes. It was great to hear Steve talk about his stand up career and hear his philosophy about career fulfillment.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Steve... were there any others???


    What does Steve Martin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His distinct tone. I could imagine his voice if I read the book. I am an 80s child and the earliest work of his that I have ever seen is early SNL. I'm more familiar with his movies. I have never seen his stand up and I would not have been able to properly guess the tone of the jokes if I had not listened to it.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The last joke made me laugh for a good five minutes. I cried when he spoke about the death of his parents.


    Any additional comments?

    He constantly talks about what a shy person he is. He is known to be very private. I gave the story a 4 star rating because like many autobiographies that are specific to one period of a persons life you can literally feel passages where you get the feeling there is more to a story but the author is only going to tell as much as they want you to know. It is the authors right to do so but when the reader can sense the story is censored it leaves a slight feeling of dissatisfaction. I also found this in Tina Fey's "Bossypants". The only autobiography I can think of where I did not feel this was you Michael J. Fox's "Lucky Man."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larbi Glen Ridge, NJ, USA 03-26-13
    Larbi Glen Ridge, NJ, USA 03-26-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    109
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good but not a great listen"

    We were looking for a book we could both appreciate on a two hour drive and this was our compromise choice. The performance was very good and it held our interest both going up and coming back.

    This is not a book of celebrity gossip or shallow reflection. That is its strength. It is a serious analysis of how Steve Martin evolved into a stand up comic, how he succeeded, and why he stopped. It candidly examines his relationship with his family, how his routine developed, who and what influenced him and how he succeeded at a particular moment in time. It also examines why he stopped at the height of his comic popularity and started making films.

    Not surprisingly Steve Martin is a really effective reader and it was his performance that was the standout characteristic of the audio. Because it is a memoir it was effective to have it read by an author whose narrative skill is professional. The story is intelligent and carries you along and is very satisfying if you are looking for something to pass the time, but in the end it wasn't all that memorable.

    If you grew up during Steve Martin's early career this is likely to be more of interest to you than to younger people unless you are familiar with his very visual brand of comedy during the 70s.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Burlington, MA, United States 03-20-13
    Thomas Burlington, MA, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2012

    th0093

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Any fan of Steve Martin would appreciate a look back with Mr. Martin on his beginnings in comedy, the development of his standup routine and his move away from standup to a very successful movie career. Lots of wonderful stories, and a few sad ones. Great listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great memories of his SNL appearances. I appreciated the difficult stories about his Father.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Hearing Mr. Martin's difficult times with his Father.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Z Penn State U. 03-16-13
    Matt Z Penn State U. 03-16-13 Member Since 2010

    Lots of books lots of time. I love all things Star Wars and fantasy. The Bartimaeus trilogy (or quad) maybe the perfect series. Jonathan Stroud and Douglas Adams are my heroes.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great but Short (Not Martin)"

    I have a deep and abiding love of Disneyland, so does Steve Martin. If you like his comedy styling, close up magic, 5 string banjos, and anecdotal stories read by a legendary comedian then credits ahoy!!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harold Lilburn, GA, United States 02-25-13
    Harold Lilburn, GA, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A awesome book about a awesome actor"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you ever wanted to see the pain of success this is the book for you.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It showed me how Steve Martin started from nothing and built his career up from nothing.


    What about Steve Martin’s performance did you like?

    He did an amazing job writing and reading his book. Adding perfect timing to make the book even more memorable.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The story of one wild and crazy guy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anastasios Athens, Greece 02-25-13
    Anastasios Athens, Greece 02-25-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very nice...but short!"
    Would you try another book from Steve Martin and/or Steve Martin?

    Of course


    Would you recommend Born Standing Up to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would, but I would inform the listener that the book is really short.


    What does Steve Martin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Well, it's always good when you listen to the actual comedian tell the story of his stand up career!


    Did Born Standing Up inspire you to do anything?

    Yeah, listen to more audio books.


    Any additional comments?

    I really wish that this book was twice as long! I enjoyed it so much that I was really frustrated when i finished t so quickly!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanner SHERMAN OAKS, CA, United States 02-19-13
    Tanner SHERMAN OAKS, CA, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Steve Martin is Entertainment Gold"

    This is hands down, by far, the best autobiography that I have ever had the privilege of experiencing. The only way to go on this book is audible so you can hear the story directly from Steve Martin himself. If you're a fan of comedy and looking for something fun, insightful, and entertaining, this is it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Tylee California 01-30-13
    G. Tylee California 01-30-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book listened to in ages"
    Would you listen to Born Standing Up again? Why?

    Yes, definitely


    What other book might you compare Born Standing Up to and why?

    Slash's book


    What about Steve Martin’s performance did you like?

    Steve Martin was great in it,


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Same title would still work


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent, you will not be disappointed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jen Johannesburg 01-28-13
    Jen Johannesburg 01-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, but not what I expected"

    I enjoyed this audio book, and it was lovely having the author perform it himself. With regard to the story, I had hoped for more about Steve Martin's life, but I suppose the title does suggest the fact that it is more about Steve Martin's stand up career than himself.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.