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)
Very enjoyable "behind the scenes" perspective from one of my favorite performers. I listened to the audio version which he also narrated and played the banjo which enhanced my enjoyment of this book even more. No earth-shattering revelations here, but an enjoyable summer read.
If you are not expecting tons of laughs, this book is pretty good. There are a few chuckles but, overall, it's Steve telling the story of his stand-up career. At times, he seems to be trying too hard to sound intellectual. Still, his tale is very interesting.
Say something about yourself!
I loved hearing Martin's point of view of his rise from amusement park worker to SNL and Hollywood. Some great stories, told by the man himself. You come out understanding why he rose so far, and how he burned out on standup. It's amazing how much though went into what seemed like a freeform act. And you get why he decided it was time to move on.
I love hard Sci-Fi and Fantasy. And I pepper in there a few Bios.
This is a well written and well read. It is heartfelt and insightful as to how a man can hone his craft.
Loved this one. Great to hear Steve Martin tell his story (in his own voice) and how he landed on his own unique style of comedy. Some really interesting insights along the way.
If you're a fan of any aspect of Steve Martin's career, I think you'll enjoy this "peek" behind the scenes.
As a creative person, professionally following a creative career, though in a different field, I really enjoyed listening to the evolution of his stand up career, material, and his thoughts, memory, and honest commentary about the highs and lows. In hindsight, he identifies turning points in his life and career that were insightful and often poignant.
With all of the above, it would have been well worth it, but the book is also infused with the sophisticated Martin humor: loved the lines about "curvy virtues" and "I did not kill him."
I'll listen to this one again I am sure in a year or so. (That was it's only negative, I wish it were a longer audiobook.) Great going Steve!
This book was an amazing insite into the skills of a craftsman as well as a moving story of a man growing up. Steve reflects, shares and provides a primer into the discipline of writing comedy. At the same time we share his life at that time including his strained family relationships that influenced his writing.
This book does not disappoint and I look forward to revisiting it again many times in the years to come.
Great book. I can't say that I have ever been a huge Steve Martin fan but after listening to this book I have an entirely new respect for him and his craft. Mr. Martin reads the book himself and does a fantastic job of bringing his pieces to life (as he should). I'm glad no one else narrated this book. A must read for any one remotely interested in a comic legend.
I only went to a few live "concerts" when I was in college in the '70s and Steve Martin was one of them. In my mind's eye I still see his visual, intelligent, and off beat stand up routine. This memoir, beautifully read by the author and punctuated with what I assume is his banjo playing, brings those moments back to vivid life. I laughed out loud again at his wonderful humor (which was somewhat disturbing to the people on the treadmills next to me at the gym).
In addition to his wonderful humor, the author gives us insight into some of the entainment influences in his career and contemporary comedy. In addition to laugh out loud and insightful moments, Steve Martin shares memories from his childhood that are touching, often sweetly funny, and sometimes heart wrenching.
This will be a great book for all baby boomers. And if you don't like it as much as I did, then EXCUUUUUUUUSE MEEEEE!
"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.
"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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