Steve Martin

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Postby Guest » 11/13/07 07:12 PM

There is an "internal new memoir" Steve Martin has put out called "Born Standing Up". In his pre-press reviews he talks about the genisis of his now classic routines being developed from working at a magic shop in Hollywood. In fact he also got the "WWWEEEELLL EXXXCUUSSEEE ME" from the owner of the shop who used to say "well, excuse me for living". After his Magic shop days he worked at Knott's Berry Farm and worked in the banjo bits. Any other great Martin stories floating around the funny forum? I've got his first HBO special in the basement, but the color lock comes and goes, I remember him doing about 10 minutes of adjusting the mic! I also remember he came on some Tom Jones, or ?? show in 79' and just stood staring at the audience...didn't say a word. Just peered out at them like he was trying to get them to queit first before he was going to start his routine...sneering, shifting his eyes to whom ever laughed the loudest, for 6 minutes...then ended with a big smiley "Thank-you, you've been great!"....The press ripped him pretty hard the next day, as it was completely different then the crazy schtick he was doing at the time.
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Postby Guest » 11/14/07 03:21 PM

Hi, Max.
Any other great Martin stories floating around the funny forum?
It sounds like you may have missed this thread a couple of weeks ago.

Regrettably, the link in the original post to the New Yorker web site doesn't seem to download the Steve Martin/Susan Morrison interview any more - at least it isn't for me right now.

But if you have iTunes installed on your computer, then this link should take you to a Podcast download of the interview.

(And if you don't have iTunes on your computer, here's your first step .)

I don't want to spoil any of it so for the time being, suffice it to say it's well worth checking out.
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Postby Guest » 11/14/07 03:33 PM

and just stood staring at the audience...didn't say a word. Just peered out at them like he was trying to get them to queit first before he was going to start his routine...sneering, shifting his eyes to whom ever laughed the loudest, for 6 minutes...then ended with a big smiley "Thank-you_
______________________________________

...sounds like Steve may have been a tad influenced by the great Andy Kaufman - doing things just to piss-off his audience - on purpose...for his own amusement. ??
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Postby Mark Collier » 11/14/07 04:07 PM

I thought it was George Carlin that did the silent bit.
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Postby Guest » 11/14/07 07:38 PM

Maybe it was George??? I think I remember Steve huffing a lot.
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Postby Guest » 11/14/07 10:20 PM

I can't imagine Carlin doing that type of bit. Wasn't Martin famous prior the Andy Kaufman? I was friends with John Hartford, the musician/writer who wrote with Steve on the Smothers Bros. show. John had nothing but great things to say about Martin.

Tony Brent
Outta Control Magic Show
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Postby Guest » 11/14/07 11:00 PM

Originally posted by Tony Brent:
Wasn't Martin famous prior the Andy Kaufman?
Probably. Kaufman was on the first Saturday Night Live, in Oct 1975. Martin didn't come on for another year. But he had already been a featured player/extra/writer on several TV variety shows, had been on Don Kirschner's Rock Concert, and had been on the Tonight Show for a dozen or so appearances since 1972. The SNL appearance was essentially Kaufman's entry into a national spotlight.

From the LA Times, 2/21/1968, in a review of a Firesign Theater show at the Ice House in Pasadena:
Steve Martin, a personable young comic, also is appearing witha routine of stand-up comedy and pseudo magic no worse and no better than average. Though preceding the Firesign Theater, he looked a bit anemic by comparison, as would almost anyone.

His keen wit was demonstrated by asides in impromptu situations, his timing was sharp and he didn't overstay his welcome.
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Postby Guest » 11/15/07 12:04 AM

Carlin did do the bit. Loooooooooooooooooooooong time too. The facials were spot on. Some comedy special I believe, not a variety show. Don't remember the name, do remember the bit.
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Postby Guest » 11/15/07 01:08 AM

I remember a friend in college (i.e. 1978) telling me about Carlin doing that bit on the Tonight show.
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Postby Guest » 11/15/07 01:48 AM

Surly this bit goes back to the great Jack Benny?
He just stand there for several miutes, before uttering a word.
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Postby Guest » 11/15/07 10:46 AM

If you're gonna walk out, face the audience and just stare for a while.....say "Boo"....

Worked for Max and was GREAT!!!

Adrian
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/15/07 11:05 PM

I was MCing a show an intro'd Tom Mullica. AS he reached center stage the mike died and his music ha just started and suddenly stopped. He just stood there and looked at the audience and the sound guy off to one side... he just stood there. I realized what was wrong and started to walk onstage to help, but he was getting big laughs.. so i didn't walk on.. Tom kept doing looks, etc. for wht seemed like five minutes and the audience was roaring with laughter. :D :D :D
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Postby Guest » 11/16/07 04:31 AM

There was an interview with Martin in last weekend's Guardian newspaper in the UK

Here's the link.

http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/in ... 12,00.html
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Postby Guest » 12/06/07 11:24 AM

I just finished the audiobook, read by Steve himself. I really loved it; it chronicles his career through the end of his time performing standup and devotes a huge amount of time to his beginnings as a magician, his time at Disneyland (including the years at the magic shop) and Knott's Berry Farm and his longtime study of Wally Boag. It is a great insight into how and why he developed his character and the act, and how the world of comedy and television worked back in the late 60's through the 70's.

Anyone else read it?

Mark
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Postby Guest » 12/06/07 12:49 PM

But if you have iTunes installed on your computer, then this link should take you to a Podcast download of the interview.
The link is not working. Does anyone have the correct link?
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Postby Joe Pecore » 12/06/07 02:02 PM

It worked for me.
Here is another version of the URL for you:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSt ... i=19698365
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Postby Guest » 12/06/07 03:59 PM

Im listening to the audio book now and its riveting. I would recommend this to anyone, but its a must for those interested in the creative process of a performer. Among other things, it has reminded me how important it is to be open to, and conscious of, our life experiences.

Plus, its cool to hear Steve Martin talk about his Zombie Ball routine.
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Postby Guest » 12/06/07 06:10 PM

FWIW, here's the one clipping I have of Steve Martin back in the day:

http://www.atombum.com/Images/steveandharry.jpg
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Postby Guest » 12/06/07 09:37 PM

Paul, did Steve actually read his own book for this book on tape? The publishers often get a second party to read autobiographies.
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Postby Guest » 12/07/07 12:00 AM

The book is fantastic. I could not put it down. An absolute must-read if you are a comedic performer.

Tony Brent
Outta Control Magic Show
Orlando
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Postby Guest » 12/07/07 05:47 AM

Yes, as Mark Phillips mentioned in his post, the audio book is read by Steve himself and is unabridged.
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Postby Guest » 12/07/07 08:53 AM

I think it was the early 1970's, Toronto, Canada.

I was just a kid, and had heard that some guy was performing magic at a local rock and roll bar not far from the Magic Shop where I was working part-time.

I was underage, but sneaked in to one of the shows. There were about 30 people in the dimly lit place, at tables around a small platform stage. On stage was Steve Martin.

I'd seen him on The Carson Show as a comedian, so I was surprised to see him in this little back-room dive performing for such a small crowd.

He did a 30 minute stage set of comedy and banjo playing, and the audience loved it. No one wanted to leave, so he just kept going. He sat on the edge of the stage and talked to the audience, did jokes, made balloon animals, tried to pick up girls using close-up magic tricks (I remember one young lady's ring vanishing and re-appearing in her glass of wine). He went on for 2 and a half hours. He followed girls into the ladies' room and came out screaming, saying that he saw things in there that no man should ever see.

It was a great and memorable evening for me. His timing was fantastic, and the material all looked spontaneous. People would ask him again to make balloon animals, and he'd say that he'd done that earlier, and the same people were still there. People asked him to do it again, anyway. He offered a compromise -- He would make balloon animals, but this time he wouldn't blow up the balloons! He proceeded to do so, tying un-inflated balloons into knots, saying that one was a puppy dog, this one was a birth-control device, etc. Very funny, very personable, and 3 feet away from me!

He's been back to Toronto many times since, playing the largest stadium here at one point, making films here, etc. He visits the local magic shop when he's in town.

- entity
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Postby Guest » 12/07/07 10:02 AM

I went in to Browser's Den a couple of years back and Jeff and co. were quite excited because Mr Martin had dropped in that day. They said he was very nice. I wish i had been there - he's one of the few celebrities that i'd actually like to meet.

He was filming a movie in town and had apparently ridden his bicycle over to the shop in between scenes.

They have mentioned some other famous types who have dropped in (the guys from Aerosmith, etc) but i think that Steve Martin was a special guest.
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Postby Guest » 12/07/07 11:17 AM

I could not put this book down, I read it all in one night, I haven't done that in a long time. I think that his ideas about comedy are amazing and should be studied. I can't help but think about what a magic act would be like if there were no finalizations to the tricks, kind of like when he said he didn't want any punchlines to his jokes. I wonder if the audience's reactions would be spontanious like he talked about in the book. One other thing, with all the people he worked with and met throughout his career I started to see a small correlation between him and Forrest Gump. Anyone else get that kind of feeling?
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Postby Guest » 12/08/07 01:58 PM

Originally posted by John Lovick:
But if you have iTunes installed on your computer, then this link should take you to a Podcast download of the interview.
The link is not working. Does anyone have the correct link?
As Joe says, the link should work. A reminder, you do need to have iTunes installed on your computer first. And after then clicking on the link it may still take the better part of a minute to open iTunes and access the iTunes Store.

And - I forgot to say this the first time - the interview is free.

As for the book itself, I bought/downloaded the Audiobook from audible.com where you can listen to a brief excerpt - for free - and get it for a pretty good price ($7.49 American) if you sign up for their Gold Plan.

I daresay it gives "the real work" on how performing tricks in a magic shop at Disneyland became the basis for a uniquely successful career in show business.

It's a great story.
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Postby Guest » 12/08/07 05:31 PM

Originally posted by Brandon Burton:
I can't help but think about what a magic act would be like if there were no finalizations to the tricks, kind of like when he said he didn't want any punchlines to his jokes.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this, but if you mean 'blowing off' the trick's climax, then wonder no more. All you need to do is go see Jay Sankey work a magic convention close up show.
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Postby Geno Munari » 12/08/07 08:42 PM

Iam sorry that I didn't see Steve Martin's art collection at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Maybe it might happen again.

Comedian, gifted writer and movie maker and much more and so complex. Last night Shop Girl was on D-TV. Really wonderful. The notion of him as a comic just disappears. He becomes a romantic lead in a situation all of us would enjoy.

I would like to just listen to him. Hope to meet him someday. He is beyond outstanding.
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Postby Guest » 12/10/07 07:47 AM

Ive just recieved the 4 cd audio version of Born Standing up. Its a great listen, with much in it for the magician.

Interestingly enough, Jack Benny is sited by steve, as an early influence, so its possible that the long pause was inspired by Benny.

Its great to here Steve Mrtins own words, complete with his own inflections , on the bits of the act.

so if you have the book, or are thinking about it, i can recomend the audio book version whole heartedly.

Dale
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Postby Guest » 12/11/07 07:55 PM

Professor Irwin Corey would also spend time just staring at an audience.
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 11:43 AM

I didn't check any of the links above but I did not see this magic routine mentioned..

There is a clip of Steve doing a magic routine, The Great Flydini, on a compilation show called TVs Greatest Moments or Greatest Moments of Television. Steve pulls interesting objects from an apparently empty (but open) zipper - classic steve martin. Interesting note - the routine was created for him by Peter Pitt.

On the same show I remember the Madison Square Garden perf of Sinatra singing My Way in the round from the center of the boxing ring. It was on perhaps 10 years ago. good luck trying to find it!
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 12:42 PM

Steve....The "Flydini" routine is on the Johnny Carson Boxed DVD set...in addition to Pit, IIRC, Ricky Jay had a hand in the development of the routine.
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 05:56 PM

Last week, I caught Steve Martin being interviewed by
Charlie Rose.

I wonder if that might still be available somewhere for the rest of you to enjoy.

Lots of magicians out there besides Jay Sankey whose tricks don't make it to completion; A.J. being one of them---probably no accident that his favorite movie of all-time starred
Steve Martin.

Not that I don't see a world of difference, but I've also had more than a couple people tell me that Scott Cervine and Dana Daniels both are reminscent of Steve Martin in one way or another.
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 08:10 PM

Originally posted by Chris Ritter:
Last week, I caught Steve Martin being interviewed by Charlie Rose.

I wonder if that might still be available somewhere for the rest of you to enjoy.
But of course, Chris, ol' buddy:

Steve Martin on Charlie Rose
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Postby Guest » 12/26/07 08:50 PM

As an old marketing professor, I frequently emphasized how consumers are slow learners and fast at forgetting.

Today it really came home again. In talking with an actor friend of my vintage, he had forgotten that Steve Martin was also into magic.

I'll never forget Steve's "Now to change the mint mark on the dime" routine. (Not a prime time stage act!)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
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Postby Guest » 12/26/07 09:14 PM

It was great seeing Ricky Jay perform "The Laughing Card Trick" for Steve Martin at the Kennedy Center Awards show tonight.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/26/07 11:33 PM

Rats! I missed it. I assume it was part of the televised performance?
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/27/07 12:33 AM

I'm sure it'll be on You-Tube soon.
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Postby Tom Ladshaw » 12/27/07 08:18 AM

I thought Steve's "tribute" portion was sort of given short shrift, at least in light of the others'. Ricky Jay did a strong trick....for magicians. I wonder how much of that applause was real...and not cued (or sweetened post-production)? When he revealed the four aces, I said, "Wow!" My wife said, "What happened?"... and she watches magic all the time. Ricky also got no intro...walked on cold...and I'm not convinced it was the best routine to do under those circumstances. It *was* sort of amusing to see him join in singing "Pennies from Heaven" during the finale.
All of that said... it was still better than Bill Irwin's vaudeville recreation. Watching Bill - who is generally acknowledged as one of finest of the "latter day vaudevillians" (and is a heck of a nice guy in person) - perform, it's no surprise that vaudeville is dead. Now if he would just leave it that way.

I was surprised to hear that Earl Scruggs was Steve Martin's main banjo influence. I would've thought it was Gene Sheldon.

And finally...a personal note...I watched the whole special just to see the Brian Wilson tribute. I'd love to know who the genius talent coordinator was who booked Lyle Lovett to absolutely massacre Brian's classic, "God Only Knows". What a crime. God only knows, indeed.
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Postby Guest » 12/27/07 09:20 AM

Thank you Steve for the Charlie Rose link. Great interview.

It was around '76, and I hit the TV lounge for Carson after a long, weary flight looking for Ruskies, and I plopped onto the couch as I heard Johnny introduce "Steve Martin .. a very funny guy..".

Fell off multiple times, never having laughed that hard.

Like he says, you have to have been there. Gotta get that book.
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Postby Brandon Hall » 12/27/07 09:35 AM

I just finished "Born Standing Up". You gotta' get the CD version for those commutes. Who could tell the story better than Steve?
Steve Martin forever changed comedy. From that point on young people had a new voice that was unlike their parents commedians (even Carlin and Pryor). He was completely new the way "punk" rock was completely new to music. He totally re-invigorated the business and thousands of intellectual kids decided they, too, could find a way to express themselves in a unique way. We have not, as yet, really experienced that kind of dramatic shift in Magic. Pen and Teller came the closest...
"Hope I Die Before I Get Old"
P. Townshend
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