Another reason to get out of bed in the morning...
And now for a book review. Over the holidays, I read Steve Martin's "Born Standing Up." It's an autobiography of his career as a stand-up comic. I've become a fan of his writing over the last couple of years. The book everyone knows about is "Shopgirl" (because of the movie), but it pales in comparison to the brilliant "The Pleasure of My Company." Of course Steve Martin is funny, but his writing can also be deeply moving.
Because I'm such a young'un, I don't remember Martin as a stand-up comic. I was first aware of him when "The Jerk" came out, and then I remember his guest appearance as the rude waiter in "The Muppet Movie." ("Miss Piggy!! Hey, are you Miss Piggy???") So it was interesting to read about that time in his life: the years of barely getting by and then his rise to fame. Like all truly good comedians, Martin takes comedy very seriously. He writes about the different theories and definitions of comedy he had learned from others and formulated himself. I'm still kicking "comedy is simply a distortion of reality" around in my head because I find it intriguing.
Before I read this book, I never really understood what a pioneer Martin was in the comedy realm. He was instrumental in evolving comedy past the old "joke-and-a-rimshot" to the cutting-edge, "humor-without-punchlines" material he ushered in during the 1970s.
This book shows Martin as more than a funny guy. We also see the downside of fame, and his struggles with anxiety, depression and the strained relationship with his father.
Biggest shocker: Years before becoming a Christian author, Stormie O'Martian was starting out in show business the same time Martin was. Their paths crossed, and the two had a passionate love affair. Martin calls Stormie his first real love. Who knew?
There's also a pretty weird observation about American composer Aaron Copland, but I'll let you read that for yourself. :)