book review: born standing up

By Steve Martin

The book tells beginning, middle, and self-imposed end of Steve Martin’s stand up comedian career. He explains his theories, and thoughts, and all of the crazy reasons he is funny.

The only thing I did not like about this memoir was that the title was totally wrong. The title implies that Steve Martin was always as funny as he is, and that it took no effort. Anyone who reads this book will understand the craft and hard work that went into his stand-up routine.

At 207 pages, the memoir is a quick read. He only glances over his family and past relationships. We do learn, towards the end, about how violated he felt by this fame, and why he has become a very private person.

The pictures included in the book are great fun. And I think sometimes he is letting the close reader in on a few jokes. In one section of the book, he describes meeting a fellow comic after having watched his show. The other comic recycled some material from a more famous comic, something Martin strongly eschewed. Neither comic talked about it then, and Martin refrained from using the comic’s name in text. But, then, the companion image plainly states that Steve Goodman was the comic. Funny.

Go out and read this book. What an interesting look on history, and boy, are they’re a ton of really great one liner’s. From Elvis calling him obliquely funny, to Linda Ronstadt asking him, “Steve, do you often date girls and try not to sleep with them?” you really can’t miss with this book.

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