Sunday, May 15, 2011

Morning chuckle 

From my Facebook scroll, Steve Martin's speech on the acceptance of the Mark Twain Prize.


By Blogger Simon Kenton, at Sun May 15, 12:28:00 PM:

One of your occasional links to material you didn't vet clear through to the end, eh, TH? This was unfunny to the point of dismal, the high point being a little picking by Martin at the very end.  

By Blogger Stephen, at Sun May 15, 02:36:00 PM:

The young Steve Martin crackled with kinetic comedy action. His wild-and-crazy-guys and "Exc-u-use me" routines vaulted him to the very top of the comedy world in the 1970's. He knew how to tap into passe vaudeville cliches like juggling and an arrow through the head and make them funny again.

The mature Steve Martin is an acquired taste. He has a softer touch than younger comics, favoring light narratives over jackhammer punchlines.

For his new monologues he dons a haughty mien that invites the audience to laugh at him. That style works because he has a comedy persona that has taken decades to build, so we're laughing at the combination of man and material. If you don't know him, agreed, it's not that funny.

Finally, it helps to know that Steve Martin greatly admired Jack Benny (http://books.google.com/books?id=ieVj9Z-w12UC&lpg=PA154&ots=G1YWtyZHib&dq=steve%20martin%20on%20jack%20benny&pg=PA154#v=onepage&q=steve%20martin%20on%20jack%20benny&f=false), the great radio and early-television comedian who had them ROTFLOL without saying a word.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sun May 15, 04:54:00 PM:

Both interesting observations, but I agree that one very much needs to take Martin in the context of Martin. If you do not know him, then you might not "get" him.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Sun May 15, 09:02:00 PM:

As they say, "Best Fishes"  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 16, 09:46:00 AM:

It's interesting that different people have such different tastes. Martin, in his gentle way, did remind me very much of Jack Benny and I don't find him at all haughty but obviously the older Martin does not appeal to all.

It's ironic that the self important poohbahs of the DC social scene named a comedy award after Twain of all people.  

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