Born Standing Up: A comic’s life by Steve Martin
This isn’t so much a funny book, as a book about the art and science of being funny. Steve Martin developed a style of stand-up that was radical at the time. Blending magic, banjo, visual gags, and philosophical comments, it was sometimes closer to performance art than stand-up. Martin writes about his early influences, catching the political winds of the seventies, and honing his act through thousands of performances. He revolutionized stand-up comedy, went on to write for the Smothers Brothers then SNL, then quit at the height of his stand-up career.
Martin is acutely intelligent, self-aware, and objective about his fame. He once ended as gig with : “Well, we’ve had a good time tonight, considering we’re all going to die someday.” Maybe that’s as good as it gets for a performer.