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Born Standing Up
Author: Steve Martin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1847395848
Pages: 224
Year: 2008-09-04
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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
Author: Steve Martin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 141656974X
Pages: 224
Year: 2007-11-20
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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
Author: Steve Martin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416553657
Pages: 224
Year: 2008-09-02
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The Emmy Award-winning comedian shares the stories of his years in stand-up comedy in a humorous memoir that recalls a first job selling guidebooks at Disneyland, his early magic and comedy act, his years of honing his craft, and the sacrifice, discipline, and originality it took to take him to the top, set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. Reprint. 500,000 first printing.
Poking a Dead Frog
Author: Mike Sacks
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101613270
Pages: 480
Year: 2014-06-24
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR Amy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Adam McKay, George Saunders, Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, and many more take us deep inside the mysterious world of comedy in this fascinating, laugh-out-loud-funny book. Packed with behind-the-scenes stories—from a day in the writers’ room at The Onion to why a sketch does or doesn’t make it onto Saturday Night Live to how the BBC nearly erased the entire first season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus—Poking a Dead Frog is a must-read for comedy buffs, writers and pop culture junkies alike. From the Trade Paperback edition.
How I Escaped My Certain Fate
Author: Stewart Lee
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571254829
Pages: 400
Year: 2010-08-19
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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.
Rock This!
Author: Chris Rock
Publisher:
ISBN: 078819075X
Pages: 202
Year: 1997-01-01
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Honesty is not only the best policy; it's also great comedy. And nobody dishes it out like Chris Rock, who grew up in Brooklyn, has performed stand-up comedy, has appeared in films and starred in TV shows, and has had award-winning HBO specials and his own show. Here he unleashes his comedic talents and confronts all the hot-button issues: finding a black leader, slavery vs. the Holocaust, drugs, welfare, taxes, family life, the most racist people in the world, men's magazines, beautiful women, how to get a rich man, marriage, saying no to sex, Bill Clinton, sexual harassment, O.J., and much more. A controversial book that is outrageously funny.
Born a Crime
Author: Trevor Noah
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 0399588183
Pages: 304
Year: 2016-11-15
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • Newsday • Esquire • NPR • Booklist Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love. Praise for Born a Crime “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade “What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today “[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People “[Noah’s] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories . . . and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class.”—Booklist (starred review) “A gritty memoir . . . studded with insight and provocative social criticism . . . with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations.”—Kirkus Reviews
We Killed
Author: Yael Kohen
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374287236
Pages: 308
Year: 2012-10-16
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Traces the careers and achievements of comediennes and challenges opinions about why women cannot be effective comedic entertainers, with coverage of celebrities, including Joan Rivers, Lily Tomlin, and Tina Fey.
Shopgirl
Author: Steve Martin
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 0786871644
Pages: 144
Year: 2001-07-01
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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.
The Pleasure of My Company
Author: Steve Martin
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 1401398804
Pages: 176
Year: 2003-10-01
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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.
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland
Author: Patton Oswalt
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439156271
Pages: 208
Year: 2011-01-04
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Prepare yourself for a journey through the world of Patton Oswalt, one of the most creative, insightful, and hysterical voices on the entertain­ment scene today. Widely known for his roles in the films Big Fan and Ratatouille, as well as the television hit The King of Queens, Patton Oswalt—a staple of Comedy Central—has been amusing audiences for decades. Now, with Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, he offers a fascinating look into his most unusual, and lovable, mindscape. Oswalt combines memoir with uproarious humor, from snow forts to Dungeons & Dragons to gifts from Grandma that had to be explained. He remem­bers his teen summers spent working in a movie Cineplex and his early years doing stand-up. Readers are also treated to several graphic elements, includ­ing a vampire tale for the rest of us and some greeting cards with a special touch. Then there’s the book’s centerpiece, which posits that before all young creative minds have anything to write about, they will home in on one of three story lines: zom­bies, spaceships, or wastelands. Oswalt chose wastelands, and ever since he has been mining our society’s wasteland for perversion and excess, pop culture and fatty foods, indie rock and single-malt scotch. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is an inventive account of the evolution of Patton Oswalt’s wildly insightful worldview, sure to indulge his legion of fans and lure many new admirers to his very entertaining “wasteland.”
God, If You're Not Up There, I'm F*cked
Author: Darrell Hammond
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062064576
Pages: 288
Year: 2011-11-08
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Tina Fey’s Bossypantsmeets David Carr’s The Night of the Gun in Darrell Hammond’sgroundbreaking memoir, God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked—a raw look inside the troubled life and mind of anAmerican comic genius. By turns poignant and hilarious, Hammond takes readersfrom the set of Saturday Night Live, where he was the show’slongest-tenured cast member, to the drug-ridden streets of Harlem and into thetwisting corridors of his own unflaggingly humorous consciousness. Minglingbehind-the-scenes stories from television’s best-loved comedy series with adark look inside a world-class funnyman, God If You’re Not Up There,I’m F*cked is a book sure to resonate with anyonewho shares a talent for performance, a love of comedy, or a desire to know howan artist can climb from the deepest despair to the very top of his profession.
SeinLanguage
Author: Jerry Seinfeld
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0553385739
Pages: 180
Year: 2008
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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.
Stand-Up Comedy
Author: Judy Carter
Publisher: Dell
ISBN: 0307575209
Pages: 240
Year: 2010-03-03
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All the world loves a clown and whether you want to clown around at parties or make a living as a standup comic, comedian Judy Carter can show you how to "do" comedy.
Pure Drivel
Author: Steve Martin
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1780227434
Pages: 144
Year: 2014-01-30
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'A mix of urbane wit and surreal extrapolations - Douglas Adams meets Flann O'Brien' Independent Who else but Steve Martin could combine irrefutable evidence that Mars is populated by kittens with a treatise on sledgehammers? In this brilliantly witty collection of pieces Steve Martin takes a subversive glimpse at the world and a sideways swipe at the conventional. From memory tips for the over-fifties to his insightful exposition of 'Wittgenstein's Banana', never has 'pure drivel' been so entertaining.

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