We drove to Valley Center, close to San Diego, this past Saturday. One of my birthday gifts was tickets to see Steve Martin and Martin Short perform. Helaine got us fourth row center.
Let me nitpick a sec here. The theater at Harrah’s is really a general purpose meeting room. The acoustics were bad with no enforcement where we were seating and though we were close to the stage we had bad sight lines to video monitors.
The clips they showed before the show began were the comedic equivalent of a Diana Ross hits medley! We were primed.
Both have been on my radar from early on. In the sixties Steve Martin was a writer/player on ‘variety shows’ at CBS. I didn’t catch Martin Short until SCTV, early 80s.
Martin and Short put on a show. By “show” I mean it was scripted and timed and choreographed and executed flawlessly.
Earlier in his career Steve Martin was a physical comic. Saturday, “He didn’t break a sweat,” according to Helaine. You get older, you change. And I like the older Martin.
I watched Martin Short fairly early in his career. From Buffalo I got to see Second City on Canadian TV, where it was more tenderly presented and (in pre-VCR days) more conveniently scheduled.
As opposed to Martin, Martin remains very physical. He dresses as a woman, wears a full body flesh colored suit with genitalia markered on and does Jiminy Glick as a “dummy” with Steve Martin his ventriloquist.
They worked together. They worked apart. They sat on big easy chairs and told stories. Steve played banjo with a Bluegrass band.
I knew none of these guys, but you could tell they were each “The Man” in his obscure corner of music. Whoever the world’s best mandolin player is, I saw him Saturday. Ditto fiddle, standup bass and the rest.
Helaine liked the music. Me too. We were both surprised.
It was a great show. Very happy.