Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin

Author:Steve Martin
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Tags: Autobiography, Performing Arts, Biography: film, Theatre studies, Autobiography: arts & entertainment, Entertainment & Performing Arts - General, Films, Comedy, Comedy (Performing Arts), television & music, Large Type Books, Biographies & Memoirs, Entertainers, Entertainment & Performing Arts - Comedians, Entertainment & Performing Arts, United States, Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs, Martin, Autobiography: The Arts, Entertainers - United States, Cinema, 1945-, General, Steve, Entertainment & Performing Arts - Actors & Actresses, Individual Actors And Actresses, Biography
ISBN: 9781416553649
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: 2007-11-20T06:00:00+00:00


IN THE LATE SIXTIES, comedy was in transition. The older school told jokes and stories, punctuated with the drummer’s rim shot. Of the new school, Bill Cosby—one of the first to tell stories you actually believed were true—and Bob Newhart—who startled everyone with innovative, lowkey delivery and original material—had achieved icon status. Mort Sahl tweaked both sides of the political fence with his college-prof delivery, but soon the audiences were too stoned to follow his coherent sentences. George Carlin and Richard Pryor, though very funny, were still a few years away from their final artistic breakthroughs. Lenny Bruce had died several years earlier, fighting both the system and drugs, and his work was already in revival because of his caustic brilliance that made authority nervous. Vietnam, the first televised war, split the country, and one’s left or right bent could be recognized by haircuts and clothes. The country was angry, and so was comedy, which was addressed to insiders. Cheech and Chong spoke to the expanding underground by rolling the world’s largest doobie on film. There were exceptions: Don Rickles seemed to glide over the generation gap with killer appearances on The Tonight Show, and Johnny Carson remained a gentle satirist while maintaining a nice glossary of naughty-boy breast jokes. Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, two great comic sketch actors working for the affable genius Carol Burnett, were deeply funny. The television free-for-all called Laugh-In kept its sense of joy, thanks in part to Goldie Hawn’s unabashed goofiness and producer George Schlatter’s perceptive use of her screwups, but even that show had high political content. In general, however, a comedian in shackles for indecent language, or a singer’s arrest for obscene gestures, thrilled the growing underground audience. Silliness was just not appropriate for hip culture. It was this circumstance that set the stage for my success eight years later.



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