Would you like to sit down and have a conversation with Steve Martin about his life in comedy? Just read his book, “Born Standings Up,” and that’s what you receive.
This book was as fun to read as watching Martin perform. He writes in a casual, succinct, conversational tone that invites you into the book.
Why would someone atop the comedy world just shut it down and turn to his other loves like music and writing? He tells you why here.
Martin takes you from his days as a youth, working at Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm in California, to the pinnacle of comedy success. All the way, there was a cerebral looking inward that Martin undertook to improve his acts.
In that sense, the book is far more than Martin’s life, but an insight into the philosophy of comedy and how to pull it off.
Martin’s complete break with standup comedy is evinced by his description of the book as a biography, not an autobiography. He says he is writing about “someone I used to know.”
I remember the first night I saw Martin on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show,” the arrow throw his head as the rambling kind of guy with the banjo in hand. I literally rolled on the floor laughing. Apparently, so did a lot of others. Then he walked away.
A wonderful read.
“Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est. (“Applaud, my friends, the comedy is over.”) ― Ludwig van Beethoven, on his deathbed
Martin’s quotes are to be found everywhere, because they are so good. Enjoy these few.
* “Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes.”
* “A day without sunshine is, like, you know, night.”
* “What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke.”
* “She had destroyed whatever was between us by making a profound gaffe: She met me.”
Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2017 season is his 11th with the club and 32nd covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March.
* Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne. © Copyright 2017 Gary F. Thorne. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gary F. Thorne and MASNsports.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.