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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.
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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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Andrew on 11-30-07

Fantastic

Get this audiobook. It’s one of the best show biz biographies I have ever seen. Definitely the best one that ever mentioned Dariel Fitzke’s Showmanship for Magicians. Actor/comedian/writer/art collector/banjo picker/magician Steve Martin details his journey from aspiring young magician to the biggest comedian of all time (he was the first comedian to sell out 45,000 seat venues).

You’ll find out that his overnight success took ten years and only then happened when he decided to go his own path. Despite the frequent bookings on the Tonight Show, fame and headliner status eluded him for a long time. He’d been demoted to performing only on guest host nights for a long period because Johnny wasn’t in to his act. When he slowly found his way, Johnny became his biggest fan.

I sat down with this book to just read a chapter and couldn’t put it down. I read the whole thing in one sitting. I’m getting the audiobook next. It’s an amazing story of how a performer struggled and grew in his art. It’s the best analysis I’ve ever read of what it takes to be an original and how hard it can be to get acceptance for that.

I could go on about this book, but you should really just be reading the book. So I’ll end this right here: Go get this audiobook!

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89 of 95 people found this review helpful


By J. Johnson on 06-18-08

Great for a first timer!

This was my first Audible Audiobook, and I was curious as to whether I would enjoy it or not. I loved it! Steve does a great job narrating the book himself and it keeps you entertained the whole time. I like books that give you an inside look to worlds you wouldn't normally get to see, and that's exactly what this book does. Highly Recommended.

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34 of 37 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Alistair on 05-13-11

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By john keegan on 07-09-13

Funny Guy!

Would you try another book written by Steve Martin or narrated by Steve Martin?

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.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Great book and a story that brings you up to date.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

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.

Was Born Standing Up worth the listening time?

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Kindle Customer on 06-14-17

Great stuff.

An absolutely wonderful insight into Steve's personal life and career for somebody who never gave him a second thought and only knew him as the 'Cheaper by the Dozen guy'.

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By Anonymous User on 05-05-17

noooiiice book <br />

I need 15 words to submit my review of the book so apple car box stapler

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