Friday, August 17, 2007

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

Over the years, Steve Martin has become a really accomplished actor and writer and many people don't remember him as the arrow-through-the-head, banjo-playing, King-Tut-inpersonating, Wild and Crazy Guy whose stand-up career was what made him famous first. However, like the voiceover from an episode of VH1's Behind the Music, at the height of his stand-up success, Martin walked away from it all and, aside from delivering opening monologues on Saturday Night Live over the years, he never did stand-up again. Here Martin looks back on how his career began (at Disneyland, at age 11, selling park maps) and what an unlikely success he became. He was part of a new breed of comics yet was unlike any of his contemporaries and that was part of the reason success eluded him for so long. In the book, Martin says he hadn't really examined this part of his life for many years as he distanced himself from his stand-up roots but this is a loving look back. This won't be out until January 2008 but will do well, esp. among guys my age who were in grade school and listened to his records over and over and over, memorizing his bits, some of which were a little over my head but hilarious nonetheless ("Grandpa bought a rubber!").

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