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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Steve Martin and Me-

I am nearly through with Steve Martin's autobiographical book about his stand-up comedy career. I recommend it for any fans of comedy in general or Steve Martin in particular.

Over the years I have seen Steve Martin on television and in movies. I like the man's work, but more so I felt that I liked the man. There is a vulnerability and sensitivity that comes through in his work that makes him likable.

I have connected with Steve Martin on several levels. He loves Disneyland. My whole family loves Disneyland. Steve began building his career there. We just go to enjoy the magical environment.

Steve Martin is a magician. So am I. He came to the conclusion that he loved magic because he loves to perform. I learned magic because I was fascinated with the trappings, the techniques, and the strange psychology that makes it all work. That is why Steve Martin is an entertainer, and I am not.

Steve Martin is an eclectic scholar and loves philosophy. I am an eclectic scholar and also love philosophy. His broad learning does not seem to tie directly into comedy, but then few people understand that comedy is work. Hard work. Comedy is informed by the whole life experience of the comic.

We are both funny guys. Steve Martin took the hard road of making a living being a funny guy. Me, I just occasionally entertain the people around me, and constantly entertain myself. Even before reading this book I had some understanding of just how hard professional comedy might be. Steve Martin relates that challenge in his little book.

My father once quipped, "I like Steve Allen, not Steve Martin." Interestingly enough, Steve Martin studied the works of Steve Allen, and other masters of comedy. Steve Martin also liked Steve Allen.

I really like comedy, and comedians. I appreciate the hard work that stands behind the laughter. They are not just entertainers, they are great physicians. I love to laugh, and I need to laugh. They help me find that laughter, and I appreciate their long efforts.

I recommend this book. Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin. He is quite a guy. I like him.

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