Steve Martin’s career has been long and varied from his start in stand-up comedy to acting and writing screenplays and books. In his memoir Born Standing Up, Martin recounts his early life and the beginning and end of his stand-up career. More than just an autobiography, the anecdotes in Martin’s book illustrate what it takes to get from performing stand-up in a tiny club to an empty room to selling out large concert halls.
Here are my favorite passages about his time in stand-up:
Much of the book is about Martin’s relationship with his parents and sister. These last two quotes sum up how his mother and father affected and reacted to his career. Martin drew much inspiration from the strained relationship with his father and that encouraged him to work hard and stay out of the house.
In stark contrast to his father, Martin’s mother always wished for a celebrity in the family. She didn’t care that it was her son or for his career choice, just that she bore a celebrity.