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“Born Standing Up” – Steve Martin

3 out of 4 stars.

“Funny guy, boring book”.

Pretty easy to sum up what this book is about since almost everyone is familiar with Steve Martin. In his autobiography he shares how he used his work background of working at magic shops plus theatre shows in Disneyland and his school studies of Philosophy to help prepare him for his stand up act. He spent over a decade practicing his routine and performing the same bit over and over and over again in order perfect his craft. The time spent paid off and by the late 1970s he was one of the biggest comedy acts out there. Many remember him absolutely crushing it on Saturday Night Live.

However, like most great comedians (i.e. Jim Carey and Robin Williams) there is a much more serious and sad tone behind the hilarious stunts. Steve Martin had a strained relationship with his father that he mentions and his climb to fame isolated him from his mother and sister as well. A self proclaimed introvert this type of constant loneliness of traveling alone and a non stop schedule most likely just burnt him out. He became depressed and lost his interest in standing on stage. He eventually called it quits.

Of course as we all know, this wasn’t the end of Steve Martin (just the end of this book). He went on to write successful screenplays, produce music albums, and star in awesome movies. To say the least he turned out okay after deciding to not continue with stand up.

Overall, this book is short and informative so there isn’t too much to complain about on my end. As my readers know, my biggest pet peeve is long and drawn out jibber jabber. Unfortunately, if I was to jump into this story half way blindfolded, I would have no idea that a comedian was writing it and that is why I gave it a low score. Essentially only 20 percent of it was filled with jokes. C’mon! I expected to pick this up and at least laugh half the time while reading. If you are looking for a play by play of Steve Martin the human then this is for you but if you are looking to have a light read with humor, pick something else up.

I compare this to the way I felt when I finished Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”; lackluster. In which, I gave the advice to pick up Amy Poehler’s book instead ! Too funny.

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