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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.

Critic Reviews

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 Ratings

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Moving, insightful, inspiring and yes..a bit quirky

Wow. This was my single best purchase on audible so far. I highly recommend. I will listen to this audio book over and over. I laughed out loud a few times and was also brought to tears during Steve's life story.

I have been a fan of Steve Martin since I fell in love with Saturday Night Live....going on 40 years. I have learned that he is not just a comedian but a musician, writer, and thoughtful actor. This autobiography to me was yes a great story but it also dimensionalized his vulnerability, his process, his fears and his flaws.

I applaud not only his willingness to share a very personal journey of introspection but also the thoughtful rambling man storytelling approach and the real life anecdotes and long since forgotten gags, lines and strange stunts which I didn't get to see as his career took shape.

What a great peek into the life and career of a comedy pioneer who also captured my heart in City Slickers and Father of the Bride. I highly, HIGHLY recommend.

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Delightful nostalgia

Great look back at the career of one of the best comedians of the 20th century. Funny and reflective, with lots of warmth.

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Success always looks easier from the outside

Enjoyed every page of this book. I believe Steve is one of this centuries most talented & versatile artists yet he is as humble as they come. I bet you'd even be a pretty decent Realtor.

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I was sad it was over

An amazing story about a wild And wacky guy. I didn't want it to end.

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clinical

Probably because I grew up watching Steve Martin and remember him as the wild and crazy guy. I found the a pretty clinical look at his life for it to be written and read by him. Maybe if I listen again sometime with less of a predetermined view of who I was listening to?

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Entertaining walk down memory lane.

I watched this story while it was happening. It was fun to relive it, but with the benefit of the behind the scenes story. I love Steve Martin, and really enjoyed the book.

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Great book!

I love Steve Martin, and this little book did not disappoint. The story isn't anything special, but it's interesting to hear him narrate his own life and discuss his rise to fame.

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Love for Steve

I Would have liked more about his later career. Part two please. Otherwise great! THANKS

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Never liked his comedy, but liked the book

While most everyone would agree the Steve had some universally appreciated one liners, I personally never cared for his style overall. Still this book was a great insight into the creative process in general, and the man specifically. Well worth your time

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Good Book

I enjoyed listening to Steve Martin tell his own story. It was interesting and entertaining.