Today I Read…Standing Up

Standing UpToday I read Standing Up: A Memoir of a Funny (Not Always) Life by Marion Grodin.

So…Addiction. Broken marriage. Cancer. The ABCs of comedy, amirite? Can I get a laugh track here?

Well, maybe not.

Marion Grodin tells the uncensored story of her life, from her relationship with her actor father Charles Grodin to her mother’s overabundance of pets, her long-running personal war with drug addiction, from falling in love to broken hearts, from writing for sitcoms to battling breast cancer, from stumbling around her life to finding the thing she was meant to do for the rest of it.

Living life? You’ve gotta do it. But finding the funny side, now that’s hard.


So, disclaimer, I was asked by the publisher to review this book. (Little bit of squee here- squee! Ok, done.) I don’t really follow stand-up comedy, so I wasn’t familiar with Marion Grodin or her work before reading her autobiography. Based on the title and the cover, and the fact that the book jacket immediately describes her as “Comedian Marion Grodin” I was expecting a funnier book than I got. It opens with her doing her routine at a Kennedy gala, and the first chapter ends with treatment for breast cancer and her husband leaving her. Hell of a punchline.

I have to compliment her on her honesty- she never shrinks away from anything she’s done or thought of felt, good or bad. There’s a lot of pain in this book- it makes you wonder if writing it was as much therapy as autobiography. But there’s also a lot of strength, for surviving and not breaking.  In the end, you have to admire her courage for standing up and surviving everything life has thrown at her- now if only she could kick her final addiction to Haagen-Dazs…