Saturday, September 29, 2012

Discuss: Steve Martin


Garett said...

No comments? Who is this Steve fellow?

I remember following him through the early '80s, and liked Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, as I was getting into old movies and liked his clever interaction with them.

I recently watched Three Amigos again and really enjoyed it, even though I didn't like the show when it first came out. Maybe those 3 comedians were oversaturated at the time, but now it's a treat to see them at the top of their game.

His Saturday Night Live appearances were always funny.

J.A. Morris said...

I'm a fan of his "classic" era. His first 2 albums ('Let's Get Small','A Wild & Crazy Guy') are still fun. His network tv specials were good too, just released on dvd:

And 'The Jerk' is still funny. But for me, his best work was the 8 episodes he hosted of SNL during the early years.

Fred W. Hill said...

I loved those tv specials & his SNL stuff too, JA. Those Elyorik of York routines are among my all-time favorite short bits of tv comedy.
Also, a few months ago I turned on my radio, pre-set to the local NPR station, and heard what sounded like a blue-grass song sung by Paul McCartney. Found out that's exactly what it was, but more surprisingly it was a Steve Martin song! "Best Love" performed by the Steep Canyon Rangers, with Martin playing banjo, and McCartney singing. I enjoyed it enough that I got the cd, Rare Bird Alert, mostly a collection of original bluegrass-style songs by Martin & the Rangers, including a revised King Tut. A few comic bits as well but mostly straightforward and very lovely music.
As for Martin's films, I haven't seen all of them, but The Jerk and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles are comedy classics.

Doug said...

The "Wild and Crazy Guys" with Martin and Dan Akroyd remain my favorites from the SNL times.

"The Jerk" is priceless. "He hates those cans!" "The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!" And of course, the "special purpose"...


Paul said...

Steve Martin has emerged in the last decade or so as one of the smartest and most versatile entertainers there is. Obviously, his comedies are classic, but he has proven to be just as good at drama (check out The Spanish Prisoner, if you don't believe it), as a serious novelist, and, as was mentioned above, a respected musician. Plus, his twitter feed is a hoot.

Edo Bosnar said...

I tend to agree with Paul, and I'm kind of impressed with Steve Martin's overall presence in the entertainment world (by the way, according to Howard Chaykin, Martin is also is an avid art-lover/collector and very knowledgeable about modern art and graphics, etc.).
That said, I prefer him as a comedian and satirist and comic actor - his appearances in more "serious" films are mixed bag for me. Some I like, but some I found a bit too syrupy and cringe-worthy (sorry if I'm dissing anyone's favorite movies, but I'm thinking of "Parenthood" and "Grand Canyon").
Anyway, besides everything already mentioned on this thread, a personal favorite of mine is "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." Granted, a younger actor should have played his role, but he still owned it.

david_b said...

Like most here, a mixed bag. His latest movies have been fine, like 'Its Complicated', more gentle roles, what's less gentle on the eyes is looking as his facejob..., on par with Kenny Rogers certainly.

I still play 'Wild and Crazy Guy', and for Xmas last year, I bought the mrs the 2nd year boxset of SNL with his first appearances. His first monoloques were quite 'out of rhythm' from the rest of the proceedings, but his early sketch work was pretty solid (this was just prior to hitting on the 'Czech Brothers' idea..). I still remember him and Rob Reiner from their Smothers Brothers writing days (gawd I miss that show..).

He certainly has limitations with fatherly or romantic leads (like 'Parenthood' or 'All About Me') not coming across really engaging, but sort of lightly pleasing without depth. He does competent performances, but saved by strong ensemble casting.

Favorite film..? 'Three Amigos' originally written for him, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as a Ghostbusters follow-up, and 'Planes, Trains, Automobiles'.. I still cry at the ending when him and Candy are carrying that trunk to Martin's home and meeting his wife.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Planes, Trains & Automobiles is a huge favorite of mine. It's pity he didn't do more films with John Candy. They made a great team.

"It's ok; I sold him his shower curtain rings."

david_b said...

Yknow, I take back what I said above about his limitations.

The exception to his weak parental roles were both 'Father of the Bride' films.

His chemistry was nice with Diane Keaton, and again really jived with Marty Short, since co-starring together in the Three Amigos film.

Always fun movies to watch.

Matthew Bradley said...

When I was about 16, my high-school buddy Elan Bush and I were absolutely obsessed with Steve, then at the peak of his stand-up career. We listened to LET'S GET SMALL and A WILD AND CRAZY GUY over and over, raced to buy COMEDY IS NOT PRETTY!, lived for his SNL appearances (which we dutifully audiotaped, because nobody---or at least nobody we knew---had VCRs back then), joked about Gern Blanston, and repeated his routines all day. I still quote from them regularly.

Around the same time, THE JERK came out, but I for one was disappointed, being used to his more sophisticated stand-up stuff. As much as I like some of his films, I think it's a shame that he abandoned stand-up...especially since I never got to see him in that capacity! :-) Favorite films: DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID, THE LONELY GUY, ALL OF ME, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, ROXANNE, PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES, MY BLUE HEAVEN, L.A. STORY, LEAP OF FAITH, A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE, THE SPANISH PRISONER, BOWFINGER.

Am impressed that he has turned out to be such a renaissance guy.

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