Steve Martin went from performing in an empty San Francisco coffee house to hosting the Oscars. In between, he spent 18 years as a stand-up comic — four of them, by his account, successful years.
In his memoir Born Standing Up, Martin chronicles those stand-up years, the childhood (including a brief career at Disneyland) that came before them, and the perils and pleasures of celebrity.
And he talks about why, at the height of his stand-up fame, he put that life behind him to take up acting and writing. He calls the book not an autobiography, but a biography of a guy he used to know.