Observations On Steve Martin

I spoke to my mom last night as I was heading home from work. She and my dad had watched a tribute to Steve Martin who won the “Mark Twain Prize” in Washington.

Until then, I’d never heard of the Mark Twain Prize.

From pbs.org: Upon learning that he had won the Mark Twain Prize, Martin remarked, “I think Mark Twain is a great guy, and I can’t wait to meet him.”

I’m dubious when this thing happens as your movie is coming out (Shopgirl). Remember when celebs used to go on TV with nothing to plug? We’ll give Martin the benefit of the doubt here, but don’t let it happen again.

PBS aired the ceremony and it really was star studded. Maybe the real question is, would this award exist at all if PBS wasn’t airing it?

My mom loved the show. I thought it was lackluster as I watched the 1-3 AM rerun. For some reason the clips didn’t excite me – and believe me, there were classic bits. Actually, there was one clip that did make me smile, Steve and Dave’s Gay Vacation, with David Letterman.

The highlight of the might was Larry David, who told a hysterical tale of he and Steve Martin in New York. It was classic Larry David.

The show got me to thinking more about Steve Martin. There are many TV performers and comedians whose work I see and then I say, “I’m as good as he is.” I’ve never said that with Steve Martin. He is far above and beyond anything I could do.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating, anytime he is on with Letterman, he prepares special material. Steve Martin could come on and just sit at the couch. He doesn’t. He works at doing something special every time. I appreciate that.

I believe (I base this on nothing but observation – I have no special insight) Steve Martin would like to get away from his wild and crazy guy past and be seen as an intellectual… a guy who collects art, reads a lot and writes in the New Yorker.

It’s going to be tough to shed that over-the-top persona. So many people who appreciated his physical comedy don’t get ‘intellectual.’

Steve Martin is one of our true comedic treasures. And, he really is an intellectual. I wish the tribute would have been worthy of all that talent.

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