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.
2008 Grammy Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album
"Absolutely magnificent. One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written." (Jerry Seinfeld)
Don't you just love a great story well told?
I had no idea the amount of dedication and serious sweat it takes just to be mediocre much less great! The "anti" comic style Martin developed made it all the harder. Read this and you'll understand why Mr. Martin is the entertainer he is today.
This is a wonderful memoir. Steve Martin gives an open and honest account of his development as a comedian and performer. It is also accompanied by banjo music both composed and played by Steve Martin. Definitely worth a listen!
Simply put... An extremely enjoyable read (listen). Steve Martin helps the reader (listener) understand why at the top of his profession he walked away.
Highly recommend this one.
Being a fan of stand-up comics, and a huge Steve Martin fan, I was drawn to this book. Listening to Martin himself narrate it was even better. He tells his story in a very conversational manner, and you feel like he's speaking to you on a personal level. The laughs aren't as huge as his comic routines, but there are plenty sprinkled in. Highly recommend it as a listen!
Having grown up listening to Steve Martan records, snl appearances, and then the Jerk, I was a huge fan. Steve goes into great detail about his childhood and his interest as an entertainer, how ever I feel like he only skims the surface once his fame was achieved, I would have like to here more stories about SNL, friends and the business ETC. It's like he grew tired of writing the rest of the book.
I'm a Steve Martin fan and loved his stand up comedy. This audio book covers this part of his career in detail (and more) that fans or anyone would find engaging.
I enjoyed the book on audio perhaps better than if I had only read it in print. Steve Martin narrates his own work which is interesting in itself as it makes the story that much more personal. The overall audio experience is further enhanced by the bits of his banjo playing that are used to separate one section from another. The banjo playing was a nice surprise and an added bonus that you certainly don't get when you only have the book.
Steve Martin got into just how hard he worked before he was able to achieve success at comedy. I have loved Steve Martin forever -- or so it seems -- but I never thought about what he did before he became famous or what he did in order to become successful. He gave a lot of detail about he did and what he went through for all of those years.
I enjoyed the book immensely and recommend it to anyone who is interested in Steve Martin or to anyone interested in what it takes to achieve success. Fascinating story!
I like to read about extraordinary things that have really happened, and this is what Steve Martin's bio reveals--the development of his unique comedic style that became a hallmark of the last quarter of the 20th century. Quite enjoyable.
A terrific insight to the science and mechanics of comedy writing in the brain of this "wild and crazy guy."
I didn't realize at first that this calm, understated and serious narrator was Steve Martin.
Recommended for those who can appreciate the impact of isolation, panic attacks and persistence as significant learning experiences.
It was very interesting to hear what Steve Martin went through, and what went through his mind, on his way to becoming the comedian we see on TV. I'm glad he shared his story with us. Of course, the book is nicely written and narrated as well.
"Interesting insight into a great comedian"
Steve Martin's narration is wonderfully clear and insightful, unlike many of his contemporaries he is able to recall the early days of Saturday Night Live and the 70's stand-up seen brilliantly. It is a useful look into the formation of his career and how he struggled early on. I would have preferred it to be a little longer as it’s much more interesting than many celebrity auto-biographies.
Yes, yes, yes. This is the first audiobook I have heard by Steve Martin and thoroughly enjoyed. It's fantastic hearing the author tell his thoughts and jokes.
Great book and a story that brings you up to date.
I wouldn't say I enjoyed one chapter or scene more than another, I did however love hearing how the conception of some of his catchphrases came into being.
The book was a very open and honest account of his life, a must buy if you like Steve Martin, his work and comedy. My only downside was I felt it was too short.
"Well worth your time"
It's a bit light on the humour but all the same, it's very interesting. His relationship with his parents, particularly his father comes as a surprise. He goes into detail about his route into the business, the highs and lows, the loneliness, and it's very revealing. Very well written and Steve reads it in a very matter of fact way - one that will stay with you long after you've read it.
"Tears of a clown."
I heard Scottish comedian Susan Calman recommend this book but having quite a mixed opinion of Steve Martin I thought it would just be a few hours of him massaging his own ego.
However I admit to being very wrong and understood Ms. Calman's reason for recommending it. This honest and sometimes very sad memoir of Steve Martin is a very memorable and surprising listen. Yes, there is plenty of humour but it clearly shows the road to fame has been a hard journey for the star and he readily admits to his own faults. At the end of it my opinion had been altered somewhat.
I would recommend this. It may not change your opinion of Steve Martin but it is an enlightening listen from the author.
The best read autobiography I've heard. Brilliantly told story of his rise to fame and the start middle ant then end of his stand up comedy career. This is well worth reading.
"Great insight into the life of a great performer"
Insightful. Entertaining. Comical.
None I can think of.
His voice reading his story made it all the more real. It's his story after all so his tone changes naturally when it needs to, giving the book an extra dimension of reality as well as entertainment.
Mostly the part when talking about his relationship with his father. So honest and open about such an intimate subject. Fair play to him.
I liked the way he gave insight into the comedy circuit. I've kinda always wondered what it was like but never had the cojones to actually go try stand up. It's was a great listen.
"excellent and entertaining"
I found this book to be well written, well read and a very interesting insight into the life of a clever and artistic man. Very entertaining. I would listen to it again in the future and there are not many books I would say that of.
"Not what i expected."
I love Steve Martin as a comic, but after listening to this I am not so much a fan anymore. It does seem to be true that a comic has a difficult life, and he seems to have had his fair share of obsticles to overcome in his life. Not one I would recommend.
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