Monday, November 05, 2007

Special Edition!

EXTRA! EXTRA! It's a "Gorillas Don't Blog" special edition!

It's pretty common knowledge these days that actor/comedian/playwright/author Steve Martin worked at Disneyland early in his career. He's been honored as a "Disney Legend", and he hosted the film that was shown in the Lincoln theater celebrating the park's 50th anniverary.

Now he has written a book, a memoir of his life and his development as a performer and comedian, titled "Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life". I was fortunate to be able to read a preview edition, and found the book to be funny and touching as Mr. Martin recounts his family life and his years of effort and experimentation, embarrassments and successes, in order to develop the unique comic style that so many GDB readers remember. I sure do! (In high school, one kid gained his own weird kind of fame by performing Steve Martin's routines verbatim at pep-rallies - - complete with white suit).

Of course, readers of this blog will especially enjoy the story of his years working at Disneyland (starting at the age of 10!) and his later experiences working at Knott's Berry Farm's "Bird Cage Theater". There are some wonderful personal anecdotes (I don't want to spoil them here), and they give a unique insider's view of the park. I would have been happy with another 11 chapters about that stuff, but admit that maybe the general public wouldn't be as enthralled!

Check out this amazing photo of Mr. Martin working in Merlin's Magic Shop! It's a pretty large jpeg, so I apologize if the download takes a while.

The rest of the book is fascinating and entertaining as well, from his days as a teenage magician performing for Kiwanis Clubs, to his early breaks writing for the Smothers Brothers and Sonny & Cher; his first experiences with Johnny Carson and "The Tonight Show", "Saturday Night Live", and on to the kind of success and fame that was exhilarating and weird. Equally as interesting is his account of why he walked away from live stand-up comedy.

The official release date for "Born Standing Up" is November 20th (you can pre-order it here), and I highly recommend it to everyone!

(Keep scrolling down to see today's regularly scheduled post)


Anonymous said...

Great photo of a young Steve Martin! This book is making its way onto my Xmas list.

Stub Winged Bilge Rat said...

That sounds like a fun read. Nice harlequin jacket young Steve is wearing!

Dan Goodsell said...

There was an excerpt from the book in the New Yorker that dealt with his 3 years at Knott's and the Birdcage. Totally fascinating. I can t wait for this book