Born Standing Up

Born Standing Up
Author: Steve Martin
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781847395849
Available:
Release: 2008-09-04
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Steve Martin has been an international star for over thirty years. Here, for the first time, he looks back to the beginning of his career and charmingly evokes the young man he once was. Born in Texas but raised in California, Steve was seduced early by the comedy shows that played on the radio when the family travelled back and forth to visit relatives. When Disneyland opened just a couple of miles away from home, an enchanted Steve was given his first chance to learn magic and entertain an audience. He describes how he noted the reaction to each joke in a ledger - 'big laugh' or 'quiet' - and assiduously studied the acts of colleagues, stealing jokes when needed. With superb detail, Steve recreates the world of small, dark clubs and the fear and exhilaration of standing in the spotlight. While a philosophy student at UCLA, he worked hard at local clubs honing his comedy and slowly attracting a following until he was picked up to write for TV. From here on, Steve Martin became an acclaimed comedian, packing out venues nationwide. One night, however, he noticed empty seats and realised he had 'reached the top of the rollercoaster'. BORN STANDING UP is a funny and riveting chronicle of how Steve Martin became the comedy genius we now know and is also a fascinating portrait of an era.

Born Standing Up

Born Standing Up
Author: Steve Martin
Pages: 224
ISBN: 141656974X
Available:
Release: 2007-11-20
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The riveting, mega-bestselling, beloved and highly acclaimed memoir of a man, a vocation, and an era named one of the ten best nonfiction titles of the year by Time and Entertainment Weekly. In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of “why I did stand-up and why I walked away.” Emmy and Grammy Award–winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written. At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott’s Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes. Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times—the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies. Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.

Born Standing Up

Born Standing Up
Author: Steve Martin
Pages: 224
ISBN: 1416553657
Available:
Release: 2008-09-02
Editor: Scribner
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The riveting, mega-bestselling, beloved and highly acclaimed memoir of a man, a vocation, and an era named one of the ten best nonfiction titles of the year by Time and Entertainment Weekly. In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of “why I did stand-up and why I walked away.” Emmy and Grammy Award–winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written. At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott’s Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes. Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times—the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies. Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.

I Must Say

I Must Say
Author: Martin Short
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062309532
Available:
Release: 2014-11-04
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this engagingly witty, wise, and heartfelt memoir, Martin Short tells the tale of how a showbiz- obsessed kid from Canada transformed himself into one of Hollywood's favorite funnymen, known to his famous peers as the "comedian's comedian." Short takes the reader on a rich, hilarious, and occasionally heartbreaking ride through his life and times, from his early years in Toronto as a member of the fabled improvisational troupe Second City to the all-American comic big time of Saturday Night Live, and from memorable roles in such movies as ¡Three Amigos! and Father of the Bride to Broadway stardom in Fame Becomes Me and the Tony-winning Little Me. He reveals how he created his most indelible comedic characters, among them the manic man-child Ed Grimley, the slimy corporate lawyer Nathan Thurm, and the bizarrely insensitive interviewer Jiminy Glick. Throughout, Short freely shares the spotlight with friends, colleagues, and collaborators, among them Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, Gilda Radner, Mel Brooks, Nora Ephron, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Paul Shaffer, and David Letterman. But there is another side to Short's life that he has long kept private. He lost his eldest brother and both parents by the time he turned twenty, and, more recently, he lost his wife of thirty years to cancer. In I Must Say, Short talks for the first time about the pain that these losses inflicted and the upbeat life philosophy that has kept him resilient and carried him through. In the grand tradition of comedy legends, Martin Short offers a show-business memoir densely populated with boldface names and rife with retellable tales: a hugely entertaining yet surprisingly moving self-portrait that will keep you laughing—and crying—from the first page to the last.

Is This Anything

Is This Anything
Author: Jerry Seinfeld
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9781982112745
Available:
Release: 2020-10-06
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The first book in twenty-five years from Jerry Seinfeld features his best work across five decades in comedy. Since his first performance at the legendary New York nightclub “Catch a Rising Star” as a twenty-one-year-old college student in fall of 1975, Jerry Seinfeld has written his own material and saved everything. “Whenever I came up with a funny bit, whether it happened on a stage, in a conversation, or working it out on my preferred canvas, the big yellow legal pad, I kept it in one of those old school accordion folders,” Seinfeld writes. “So I have everything I thought was worth saving from forty-five years of hacking away at this for all I was worth.” For this book, Jerry Seinfeld has selected his favorite material, organized decade by decade. In page after hilarious page, one brilliantly crafted observation after another, readers will witness the evolution of one of the great comedians of our time and gain new insights into the thrilling but unforgiving art of writing stand-up comedy.

The Pleasure of My Company

The Pleasure of My Company
Author: Steve Martin
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781401398804
Available:
Release: 2003-10-01
Editor: Hachette Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the bestselling author of Shopgirl comes the tender story of a troubled man who finds love, and life, in the most unexpected place. Daniel resides in his Santa Monica apartment, living much of his life as a bystander: He watches from his window as the world goes by, and his only relationships seem to be with people who barely know he exists. He passes the time idly filling out contest applications, counting ceiling tiles, and estimating the wattage of light bulbs. It is through Daniel's growing attachment to Clarissa, and to Teddy, that he finally gains the courage to begin to engage the world outside, and in doing so, he discovers love, and life, in the most surprising places. Filled with his trademark humor, tenderness, and out and out hilarious wordplay, The Pleasure of My Company is a tour de force sure to delight all of Steve Martin's fans.

Road Dog

Road Dog
Author: Dov Davidoff
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781250038067
Available:
Release: 2017-10-31
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Road Dog is comedian, actor, and writer, Dov Davidoff's unflinching memoir told through reflections of twelve months on the road. Davidoff travels across the country from college campuses to local theaters doing stand-up comedy and telling it like it is. He's been known to wax poetic about everything from encounters with large fake breasts, to people who have too many kids, to magnum condoms the size of CD cases. He is hilarious and relatable and will have you laughing at yourself in no time. But there's more to the road dog life than TV features and sold out comedy shows, there's a dark underbelly and Dov knows it well. His memoir chronicles the highs and often very low lows of performance life with honesty, clarity, and humility. Dov takes readers from his fractured childhood days spent in a New Jersey junkyard with a gruff Jewish father and commune-loving hippie Protestant mother to the intense hyperactive persona that his fans know and expect discussing the relationships, drugs, and demons that he has fought along the way. With an eye for self-reflection, and a penchant for hilarious irony, Dov pulls back the curtain on a life hard-made on the road.

I m Dying Up Here

I m Dying Up Here
Author: William Knoedelseder
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780786746187
Available:
Release: 2009-08-25
Editor: PublicAffairs
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In the mid-1970s, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen, and several hundred other shameless showoffs and incorrigible cutups from all across the country migrated en masse to Los Angeles, the new home of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. There, in a late-night world of sex, drugs, dreams and laughter, they created an artistic community unlike any before or since. It was Comedy Camelot—but it couldn't last. William Knoedelseder, then a cub reporter covering the scene for the Los Angeles Times, was there when the comedians—who were not paid for performing—tried to change the system and incidentally tore apart their own close-knit community. In I'm Dying Up Here he tells the whole story of that golden age, of the strike that ended it, and of how those days still resonate in the lives of those who were there.

Seriously Funny

Seriously Funny
Author: Gerald Nachman
Pages: 672
ISBN: 0307490726
Available:
Release: 2009-08-26
Editor: Pantheon
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The comedians of the 1950s and 1960s were a totally different breed of relevant, revolutionary performer from any that came before or after, comics whose humor did much more than pry guffaws out of audiences. Gerald Nachman presents the stories of the groundbreaking comedy stars of those years, each one a cultural harbinger: • Mort Sahl, of a new political cynicism • Lenny Bruce, of the sexual, drug, and language revolution • Dick Gregory, of racial unrest • Bill Cosby and Godfrey Cambridge, of racial harmony • Phyllis Diller, of housewifely complaint • Mike Nichols & Elaine May and Woody Allen, of self-analytical angst and a rearrangement of male-female relations • Stan Freberg and Bob Newhart, of encroaching, pervasive pop media manipulation and, in the case of Bob Elliott & Ray Goulding, of the banalities of broadcasting • Mel Brooks, of the Yiddishization of American comedy • Sid Caesar, of a new awareness of the satirical possibilities of television • Joan Rivers, of the obsessive craving for celebrity gossip and of a latent bitchy sensibility • Tom Lehrer, of the inane, hypocritical, mawkishly sentimental nature of hallowed American folkways and, in the case of the Smothers Brothers, of overly revered folk songs and folklore • Steve Allen, of the late-night talk show as a force in American comedy • David Frye and Vaughn Meader, of the merger of showbiz and politics and, along with Will Jordan, of stretching the boundaries of mimicry • Shelley Berman, of a generation of obsessively self-confessional humor • Jonathan Winters and Jean Shepherd, of the daring new free-form improvisational comedy and of a sardonically updated view of Midwestern archetypes • Ernie Kovacs, of surreal visual effects and the unbounded vistas of video Taken together, they made up the faculty of a new school of vigorous, socially aware satire, a vibrant group of voices that reigned from approximately 1953 to 1965. Nachman shines a flashlight into the corners of these comedians’ chaotic and often troubled lives, illuminating their genius as well as their demons, damaged souls, and desperate drive. His exhaustive research and intimate interviews reveal characters that are intriguing and all too human, full of rich stories, confessions, regrets, and traumas. Seriously Funny is at once a dazzling cultural history and a joyous celebration of an extraordinary era in American comedy.

Stand Up Comedy

Stand Up Comedy
Author: Judy Carter
Pages: 204
ISBN: 9780440502432
Available:
Release: 1989
Editor: Dell
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The authur states that she will teach comedy, but to be funny she gives experienced advice, gives assignments, and gives examples from established comedians

Standing Up to the Madness

Standing Up to the Madness
Author: Amy Goodman
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781401395742
Available:
Release: 2008-05-01
Editor: Hachette Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Standing Up to the Madness not only is a timely, inspiring, and even revolutionary look at who wields the greatest power in America--everyday people who take a chance and stand up for what they believe in--but also offers advice on what you can do to help. Where are the millions marching in the streets to defend human rights, civil liberties, and racial justice? Where is the mass revulsion against the killing and torture being carried out in our name? Where are the environmentalists? Where is the peace movement? The answer: They are everywhere. The award-winning sister-brother team of Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, and investigative journalist David Goodman traveled the country to detail the ways in which grassroots activists have taken politics out of the hands of politicians. Standing Up to the Madness tells the stories of everyday citizens who have challenged the government and prevailed. As the Bush administration has waged war abroad and at home, it has catalyzed a vast groundswell of political action. From African-American residents of deluged New Orleans who are fighting racism and City Hall to regain their homes; to four Connecticut librarians who refused to spy on their patrons, challenged the USA PATRIOT Act, and won; to a group of high school students who were barred from performing a play they wrote on the Iraq War based on letters from soldiers; to the first U.S. Army officer to publicly refuse orders to deploy to Iraq, charging that his duty as an officer is to refuse to fight in an illegal and immoral war, Standing Up to the Madness profiles citizens rising to extraordinary challenges. And, in the process, they are changing the way that politics is done, both now and in the future. In communities around the United States, courageous individuals have taken leaps of faith to stop the madness. They could only hope that if they led, others would follow. That is how movements are born. What begins as one, eventually becomes many. In that tradition, the authors have included the ways in which any individual can take action and effect change.

How I Escaped My Certain Fate

How I Escaped My Certain Fate
Author: Stewart Lee
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780571254828
Available:
Release: 2010-08-19
Editor: Faber & Faber
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Experience how it feels to be the subject of a blasphemy prosecution! Find out why 'wool' is a funny word! See how jokes work, their inner mechanisms revealed, before your astonished face! In 2001, after over a decade in the business, Stewart Lee quit stand-up, disillusioned and drained, and went off to direct a loss-making musical, Jerry Springer: The Opera. Nine years later, How I Escaped My Certain Fate details his return to live performance, and the journey that took him from an early retirement to his position as the most critically acclaimed stand-up in Britain, the winner of BAFTAs and British Comedy Awards, and the affirmation of being rated the 41st best stand up ever. Here is Stewart Lee's own account of his remarkable comeback, told through transcripts of the three legendary full-length shows that sealed his reputation. Astonishingly frank and detailed in-depth notes reveal the inspiration and inner workings of his act. With unprecedented access to a leading comedian's creative process, this book tells us just what it was like to write these shows, develop the performance and take them on tour. How I Escaped My Certain Fate is everything we have come to expect from Stewart Lee: fiercely intelligent, unsparingly honest and very, very funny.

An Object of Beauty

An Object of Beauty
Author: Steve Martin
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780446573665
Available:
Release: 2010-11-23
Editor: Grand Central Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights--and, at times, the dark lows--of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.

Based on a True Story

Based on a True Story
Author: Norm Macdonald
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781443414319
Available:
Release: 2016-09-20
Editor: HarperCollins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Wild, dangerous, and flat-out unbelievable, here is the incredible memoir of the Canadian actor, gambler, and raconteur, and one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time. As this book’s title suggests, Norm Macdonald tells the story of his life—more or less—from his origins on a farm in the backwoods of Ontario and an epically disastrous appearance on Star Search to his account of auditioning for Lorne Michaels and his memorable run as the anchor of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live—until he was fired because a corporate executive didn’t think he was funny. But Based on a True Story is much more than just a memoir; it’s the hilarious, inspired epic of Norm’s life. In dispatches from a road trip to Las Vegas (part of a plan hatched to regain the fortune he’d lost to sports betting and other vices) with his sidekick and enabler, Adam Eget, Norm recounts the milestone moments, the regrets, the love affairs, the times fortune smiled on his life, and the times it refused to smile. As the clock ticks down, Norm’s debt reaches record heights, and he must find a way to evade the hefty price that’s been placed on his head by one of the most dangerous loan sharks in the country. As a comedy legend should, Norm peppers these pages with classic jokes and long-mythologized Hollywood stories. This wildly adventurous, totally original, and absurdly funny saga turns the conventional “comic’s memoir” on its head and gives the reader an exclusive pass inside the mad, glorious mind of Norm Macdonald.

SeinLanguage

SeinLanguage
Author: Jerry Seinfeld
Pages: 180
ISBN: 0553385739
Available:
Release: 2008
Editor: Bantam
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Seinfeld. For more than 33 million viewers, the Emmy Award-winning television show has become a Thursday night ritual. Even though the show has ended, Jerry Seinfeld's distinct brand of humor can still be yours. In his #1 New York Times bestselling book, SeinLanguage, Jerry Seinfeld has captured on the page his views on topics ranging from Raisinettes to relationships, from childhood to cop shows, and from parents to power suits. This must-have book for all fans—and who isn't a fan?—remains available in both paperback and hardcover. From the Paperback edition.

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781408824856
Available:
Release: 2011-09-05
Editor: A&C Black
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Over 21 million copies sold worldwide

The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z

The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z
Author: Steve Martin
Pages: 52
ISBN: 9780385516624
Available:
Release: 2007
Editor: Random House Digital, Inc.
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Presents a rhyming couplet featuring each letter of the alphabet, with such characters as David the dog-faced boy, who dons a derby despite being dirty, and Victor, whose frequent victories have made him vainglorious.

Making History

Making History
Author: Stephen Fry
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781616955267
Available:
Release: 2014-12-30
Editor: Soho Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This “terrific” novel of alternate history asks: What if Hitler had never been born? (The Washington Post). Michael Young is a graduate student at Cambridge who is completing his dissertation on the early life of Adolf Hitler. Leo Zuckermann is an aging German physicist haunted by the Holocaust. Together, they idealistically embark on an experiment to change the course of history. And with their success is launched a brave new world that is in some ways better than ours—but in most ways even worse.

Underworld

Underworld
Author: Don DeLillo
Pages: 832
ISBN: 9781416595854
Available:
Release: 2007-11-01
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A finalist for the National Book Award, Don DeLillo’s most powerful and riveting novel—“a great American novel, a masterpiece, a thrilling page-turner” (San Francisco Chronicle)—Underworld is about the second half of the twentieth century in America and about two people, an artist and an executive, whose lives intertwine in New York in the fifties and again in the nineties. With cameo appearances by Lenny Bruce, J. Edgar Hoover, Bobby Thompson, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason and Toots Shor, “this is DeLillo’s most affecting novel…a dazzling, phosphorescent work of art” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times).

Shopgirl

Shopgirl
Author: Steve Martin
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9780786871643
Available:
Release: 2001-07-01
Editor: Hachette UK
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

One of our country's most acclaimed and beloved entertainers, Steve Martin has written a novella that is unexpectedly perceptive about relationships and life. Martin is profoundly wise when it comes to the inner workings of the human heart. Mirabelle is the "shopgirl" of the title, a young woman, beautiful in a wallflowerish kind of way, who works behind the glove counter at Neiman Marcus "selling things that nobody buys anymore . . ." Slightly lost, slightly off-kilter, very shy, Mirabelle charms because of all that she is not: not glamorous, not aggressive, not self-aggrandizing. Still there is something about her that is irresistible. Mirabelle captures the attention of Ray Porter, a wealthy businessman almost twice her age. As they tentatively embark on a relationship, they both struggle to decipher the language of love--with consequences that are both comic and heartbreaking. Filled with the kind of witty, discerning observations that have brought Steve Martin critical success, Shopgirl is a work of disarming tenderness.