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Steve Martin On Being 'Born Standing Up'

A comic's life: Steve Martin's long list of credits includes the films <em>The Jerk</em>, <em>Father of the Bride</em> and <em>Planes, Trains and Automobiles</em> as well as the books <em>Shopgirl</em> and <em>Cruel Shoes</em>.
Frazer Harrison
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A comic's life: Steve Martin's long list of credits includes the films The Jerk, Father of the Bride and Planes, Trains and Automobiles as well as the books Shopgirl and Cruel Shoes.

Steve Martin went from performing in an empty San Francisco coffee house to hosting the Oscars. In between, he spent 18 years as a stand-up comic — four of them, by his account, successful years.

In his memoir Born Standing Up, Martin chronicles those stand-up years, the childhood (including a brief career at Disneyland) that came before them, and the perils and pleasures of celebrity.

And he talks about why, at the height of his stand-up fame, he put that life behind him to take up acting and writing. He calls the book not an autobiography, but a biography of a guy he used to know.

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