15 Steve Martin Bits That Are Timeless
A recent Twitter uproar occurred over whether or not Steve Martin’s King Tut song was funny. In reality, it seems like the ratio of liking to disliking the classic skit was about 1000 to 1. But what better time to take a walk down memory lane with 15 timeless bits from the king of alt-comedy.
A Joke For The Plumbers
This may be my favorite actual Steve Martin “joke.” A fake punchline followed by the secret second punchline. It’s like getting a double prize box in Mario Kart Double Dash.
“Look Up Here!” The Three Amigos
One of the best bits in The Three Amigos. I guarantee this could’ve ended up in an I Think You Should Leave sketch today. I rate it 5/5 arrows in the head.
The sketch that started the fire. A reference to the King Tut exhibit going all around the country in the 70’s, the sketch is a play on the commercialism tied to ancient artifacts. It’s SUPPOSED to be very dumb. That’s what makes it great.
Restaurant Scene: The Lonely Guy
One of Martin’s less popular movies happens to be one of my favorites. In this scene from The Lonely Guy, Martin informs the waiter that he’ll be dining alone which causes the entire restaurant to fall silent and stare. If you’ve never seen the whole movie, save it for a rainy day.
“He Hates These Cans!” The Jerk
I believe this was Sam Weir’s favorite scene from The Jerk as well. Confused about why a stranger would be trying to murder him, Navin Johnson avoids cans at his gas station at all cost. Project this scene on my gravestone.
“Dentist!” Little Shop Of Horrors
We have to mention Martin’s stellar performance as the dentist, Orvin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors. I remember seeing this as a kid, being terrified, then REALIZING it was Steve Martin as an adult. I am no longer scared, only tickled pink.
Wild and Crazy Guys With Dan Aykroyd
It’s a classic, that’s for sure. But is it timeless…maybe. The wild and crazy guys deserve to be on the list for their iconography but go back and watch a few of them to see if you think they really hold up.
A collection of a few sex jokes by Steve Martin. This is Martin in his absolute prime. White suit, black tie, weird little dances. I absorb these jokes into my body and soul like photosynthesis.
“Cat Juggling” The Jerk
Originally a stand up joke, Martin moved “Cat Juggling” into his film The Jerk as well. Cat Juggling is perhaps the most heinous crime anyone can commit. I’ve no idea how Steve has not been canceled for this footage yet.
“My Little Buttercup” The Three Amigos
One of the best things about Steve Martin is that he had an inherent sweetness behind everything he did; a trait he shares with Martin Short. The best example of the two intertwining may be in their performance of “My Little Buttercup” in The Three Amigos.
The Absent Minded Waiter
An Oscar Nominated short film features a young Steve Martin in perhaps the most Chaplin-esc performance he’s ever given. It’s full of quick jokes and intricate dialogue, so don’t watch it while driving.
Comedy Act For Dogs
An incredibly gutsy performance choice for Johnny Carson, but that’s what makes it legendary. It’s a fantastic early spotlight on alt-comedy, being from 1970, and it broke new ground for dogs who love stand-up.
“All I Need” The Jerk
Perhaps the best joke to make when leaving a room in the history of jokes. My ex-girlfriend did not get the reference while I was moving out of our apartment.
Ruprecht in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Steve Martin’s character Freddy Benson has to pretend to be the strange inbred brother of Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) in order to pull off a heist. Martin holds nothing back from his performance, and the tire swing is a nice touch.
Mark Twain Prize Acceptance Speech
The oldest Steve moment in the list, but a fantastic harkening back to his absurdist stand up comedy heyday. His 2005 Mark Twain Prize acceptance speech might be the funniest out there.
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Top Image: Universal Pictures