Born standing up : a comic's life / Steve Martin.

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  • Additional Information
    • Edition:
      1st Scribner hardcover ed.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: The author shares the stories of his years in stand-up comedy in a humorous memoir that recalls a first job selling guidebooks at Disneyland, his early magic and comedy act, his years of honing his craft, and the sacrifice, discipline, and originality ittook to take him to the top.
    • ISBN:
      9781416553649 : HRD
      1416553649 : HRD
    • LCCN:
      2007027143
    • Accession Number:
      fay.248241

Reviews

LJ Reviews 2007 August #1

Martin gets serious with this account of his career in stand-up comedy, which meant endless gigs and the inevitable loneliness. With a three-city tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

LJ Reviews 2007 November #2

In analyzing the development of his stand-up comedy career, Martin considers to have written a biography of someone he used to know. With a preteen passion of becoming a master magician, he escaped domestic turmoil by working at a magic shop in Disneyland. Once he gained confidence in performing live, his eclectic brand of humor was honed at coffee clubs and in local theater productions. Along the way, Martin studied philosophy, which allowed him to observe comedy as social commentary. Within a few years, he stumbled into television writing, working for the controversial Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. He was a regular guest on the Tonight Show, but it was his exposure on Saturday Night Live that catapulted Martin to success. In the early 1980s, he decided to leave stand-up comedy and become the film star we know today. Martin has always taken his life and the art of comedy seriously; his wonderful catchphrases (e.g., "Excuuuuse me"; "I'm a wild and crazy guy") will live on forever in our vocabulary. An intelligent biographical assessment recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/07.]—Richard A. Dickey, Washington, DC

[Page 61]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

PW Reviews 2007 December #5

Neatly combining his personal and professional worlds, beloved comedian, filmmaker, author, magician and banjoist Martin (Pure Drivel ) chronicles his life as a gifted young comedian in this evocative, heartfelt memoir, which proves less wild and crazy than wise and considerate—though no less funny for it. The typically reticent performer shares rarely disclosed memories of childhood—his father, a failed actor, harbored increasing anger toward his son through the years—and the anxiety attacks that plagued him for some two decades, along with his early success as a television comedy writer, first for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour , and the evolution of his stand-up routine. Sharp insight accompanies stories of his first adult gig (at an empty San Francisco coffeehouse), his pioneering "no punch lines" style ("My goal was to make the audience laugh but leave them unable to describe what it was that had made them laugh"), appearances on programs like The Steve Allen Comedy Hour and breakthrough moments with small, confused audiences. Though the book is vivid and entertaining throughout, Martin doesn't dish any behind-the-scenes dirt from Saturday Night Live or The Tonight Show ; rather, he's warm and generous toward everyone in his life, including girlfriends and colleagues. Tellingly, this intimate early career recap ends not with Martin's decision to give up live performance or his first starring role in The Jerk , but with a visit to his parents and Knott's Berry Farm, where he first performed as a teenager. (Nov.)

[Page 39]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.