Sunday, October 17, 2010
Steve Martin Returns To Stand Up
How long has it been since I saw Steve Martin doing stand up comedy?
Must be at least 25 years, way, way back when he was that wild and crazy young guy guesting with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.
He's grown up an awful lot since those days.
Did you catch him opposite Meryl Streep in last year's movie hi tIt's Complicated. Most of the laughs were reserved for co-star Alec Baldwin while Martin concentrated on characterization.
And then there are his fine essays for The New Yorker and his must read books.
The only time I encountered him was when he was producing a short lived series with George Burns in the 1980s and he explained he wanted to try it all rather than be limited by just one talent.
On Monday night's Just For Laughs Martin ttempts stand up again and what else can I say he's ingratiating and great. It really was worth waiting for.
Bruce Hills CEO of Just For Laughs has just emailed me:"It was a thrill of a lifetime to have Steve Martin at Just For Laughs this summer. Monday night's show captures one of the most memorable nights in our history. We're excited for people to see it."
Martin says he finally returned to his comedy roots after his pal Martin Short was such a hit the year before.
Look, he even brings in his own band for some banjo music. They've already played together live on the Grammys. Remember?
The Steep Canyon Rangers
TV critics usually ignore the CBC version of Just For Laughs. The actual Montreal festival has been around for 28 years and the TV version still delivers sturdy ratings for CBC.
Martin tells the audience at one point he last played stand up in Montreal some 40 years ago. But who's counting. Also, Martin introduces a selection of up and comers. The best of the bunch by far is Steve Patterson.
Everything Martin does gets applause from a deeply grateful audience. And that's as it should be.
JUST FOR LAUGHS IS ON CBC-TV MOND. OCT. 18 AT 9 P.M.
MY RATING: ***.