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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

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Celebrities are people too.

Steve shares a lot with this. Guess what? Celebrities are people, not the roles you've seen them portray.

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Making history

Any additional comments?

Excellent and poignant story of Martin's journey through comedy history. Very interesting read on how and why his act developed as it did.

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  • Shawn
  • Beamsville, ON, Canada
  • 07-06-15

Edutaining

An enjoyable biography sounding truthful and being entertaining. If you like biographies, comedies, or shoes I suggest this listen.

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Enjoyed this very much.

It was a pleasurable listen as Steve recounts his historical career. Laughed out loud several times as backstage stories take you into the life and lessons as we move through this world trying to make the best of it. Stevie's courage to press on and pursue dreams motivates the listener to fave the reality, we only live once.

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This was just OK

This was interesting, but bland and obviously leaving out the juicy personal information I wanted!

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A fun look back at Steve Martin's early career

it was fun to get to know the Steve Martin from his earlier years. I grew up on The Three Amigos, Roxanne, and planes Trains ans Automobiles...it was a wonderful story of his pre Amigos life

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Fascinating and inspiring!

I have always really liked Steve Martin. Listening to him read this account was not only very enjoyable, but it elevated my respect for the man even higher.

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Love it

Good insight on how he saw him self. He's funny and a Humble Man. I think you will enjoy this book if you are a fan I'm a huge fan of him

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Short but meaningful.

This compact book brings to mind the virtues of brevity as E. B. White taught them in the Elements of Style. It is compact, but meaningful.

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Brilliant but lifeless

A fascinating story, but lifelessly performed. He read his book as if reading stereo instructions.