Last week, after reading an article by Steve Martin in Smithsonian Magazine, I sent an email to my friend Farrell:
“I want to be Steve Martin… except for his unhappiness.”
“He is a great writer, too. Be Geoff.”
Nice sentiment. I appreciated it. This is why you have friends.
I went on to write about Martin in the blog, leading regular reader Jim¹ in Truckee, CA to comment:
Thanks for mentioning the Steve Martin article. I’m right in the middle of his latest book, Born Standing Up, A Comics Life. If you liked that article in the Smithsonian, you’ll enjoy the book…
Five minutes later I was on Amazon. The book came yesterday.
I can’t tell you why, but when I came home from work tonight, I sat down and read the book – the whole book. I could not stop.
My friend Howard, a show biz manager, says you should never meet the entertainers you admire. He’s probably right. I’d still like to meet Steve Martin, though I’m probably not capable of carrying it off.
We share nothing in our background. He came from a family with little warmth. My family heated our whole apartment building. He had the chutzpah to perform live. I did my comedy on the radio where I was well hidden.
We’ve learned many of the same lessons.
I find him bright and witty – a Renaissance man in a world filled with people who eschew knowledge or any historical perspective. He followed a complex route to get there. He wasn’t as smart or observant in his twenties as he is now in his (shudder) sixties.
It’s good to see age does have some payoff.
When stand-up was no longer satisfying, he stopped. He was huge. He just stopped.
Steve Martin’s “Born Standing Up is in hard cover.
¹ – It should be noted, there are a bunch of regulars who comment on this blog from time-to-time. Jim in Truckee, for instance.
These are mostly people I don’t know.
I’m not sure why you’re here or what you find so compelling. I am flattered you find what I say interesting enough to come back on a steady basis and I’m always thrilled when you post a comment.
In real life, experience has shown the more you know me, the less scintillating I am.