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Born Standing Up

I finished my third book this week, Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up. Born Standing Up is an autobiography that looks at Steve Martin’s standup career. For years, Steve Martin has shunned his standup career and he viewed it as something of the past, but in this book he explores the ins and outs of how the career came to be, both the good times and the bad.


It’s a very easy read that consistently kept my attention. You can tell that Steve was really digging through some personal stuff to rediscover this period of time in his life. It’s a humble look at a kid working his way out of his father’s failure and attempting to break the mold in a world that was over the verge of change. The book makes you appreciate his unique sense of humor even more.


I became a fan of Steve’s around the time Leap of Faith came out, a movie that my grandmother really liked. It’s funny, because she was deeply religious and if anything, Leap of Faith was almost anti-religious. I spent one summer renting all of Steve’s movies that I could and that’s when I discovered The Jerk, which really made a me a huge fan. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so hard at a single movie since then.


One afternoon while in the video store with my grandmother, I ran across a previously viewed copy of Steve Martin Live! The show was filmed in 1979 and was the only official release of any of his comedy shows. I wasn’t expecting the wackiness that ensued during his stand up show, but it always stuck with me because of how different it was from all the crude comics who stood up and told jokes. The entire time I was reading this book I was flashing back to moments in that show that I watched at least a dozen times.

Earlier this week, I sat down and watched Steve Martin and Martin Short’s comedy special on Netflix, something that’s been on my list to watch since it came out. It was damn good and had me laughing quite a bit and it excites me that they are working again for a Hulu series by the creator of This is Us.

I realize as I get older, these comedic performers that I loved in my youth are getting much older and won’t be around forever. I’m glad reading this book made me appreciate Steve Martin a little bit more and I’ll be sure to keep up with his upcoming projects a little more closely.

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