A Comic’s Life

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

“Hello, I’m Steve Martin, and I’ll be out here in a minute.”

I’m told I laugh at everything. It isn’t true. On the contrary, unamusings are bountifully present every day; I simply choose to give credit where it’s due.

My dad is the laugher. Many times, he would be the only one laughing in our living room. Other times, he would be the only one laughing in an entire movie theater.

Maybe it wasn’t funny, or maybe we didn’t get it.

I do remember, however, that when Pops laughed at Steve Martin, I laughed at Steve Martin, not because I wanted to laugh like Pops (though I have inherited it naturally), but because Steve Martin is just freakin’ funny!

My life ranges through Martin’s career from Three Amigos! to An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life. The man is a legend, and I had no idea that he had written a book. It turns out that he has written several, and I intend to read at least one more. But how am I to know which to choose? Guess I’ll have to read them all.

Unfortunately, Born Standing Up is a little sad. At least, it is sad for a softy who believes that every father should always be able to tell his children that he loves them. For Martin, he did not receive the affirmation until his father was in his eighties. I know there are serious issues in this world, but I imagine there would be far fewer if we could figure out how to remedy this one. It’s a travesty.

It’s brave for a man of such renown, or any man or woman, to disclose such private and personal information, and I do admire it, but it was not the preferred material. I instead looked forward to reading about how easy it was for a man of Martin’s talent to “make it” to the top.

I didn’t find that either.

And I promise it never gets old. Even the best of the world’s best ever contend with the legions of Difficulty and Impossibility. Nothing’s easy. And if it is, it ain’t cheap.

Fortunately, Martin was endowed with “the one element necessary” for obtaining such a position. I have something in common with Steve Martin, and I find it fascinating. Never in a million years would I have put us in the same circle, confessing our ignorance to the room and seeking a reprieve from our faults.

“Naivete: that fabulous quality that keeps you from knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do.”

I feel you, Steve. I really do.

Mr. Martin connects with me as well; he just doesn’t know it. When he was twenty-eight, he began to question his path and future. Of course, don’t we all at twenty-eight? You already know. He told himself he’d continue on his path until he was thirty, and if clarity was still lacking, he would figure out something else.

It may seem like an afterthought to Steve Martin, but deep down he knew. He knew what thirty held.

Now, the man has excelled. He’s at the top of the comic food chain. I could follow him, I’m sure, but most of my jokes are misunderstood. And even if they weren’t, my delivery is not worth being perfected.

If you know who he is and you find him humorous, read some more about him.

Grow Your Mind. Keep Your Mind. Read A Book!

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