Steve Martin has given audiences a lifetime of humor mixed with fantastic physical comedy that never fails to create laughter. Today, August 14, 2023, the comic genius celebrates his 78th birthday. Currently, audiences see his creative repertoire in “Only Murders in the Building,” including playing a concertina.
Goodreads said Martin became a successful actor, playwright, juggler, author, and musician after branching away from stand-up comedy. Additionally, he’s earned numerous awards, including five Grammy Awards, the Mark Twain Prize for Humor, and a People’s Choice Award for Comedy.
I really enjoy finding the right word [and] creating a good, flowing sentence. I enjoy the rhythm of the words.
Martin began his comedic writing career in 1967. His genius shined during sketches on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” winning him an Emmy Award. He also worked as a writer on “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” (1969), “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” (1971), and others.
He honed his craft on talk and comedy shows. In 1976, Martin guest hosted “Saturday Night Live” for the first of 16 times. Fans remember the iconic characters he portrayed during his guest host and 19 guest appearances on “SNL.” One of his extraordinarily memorable and hilarious sketches is “King Tut.” He previewed this “funky musical parody” from his “A Wild and Crazy Guy” (1978) album in a live performance during the April 22, 1978 “SNL” episode.
Another of his characters discussed on “Saturday Night Live Wiki Fandom” includes Martin’s Georg Festrunk: He and Dan Akrod are two wild and crazy European guys new to America.
Steve Martin Challenges Society’s Rules
Martin’s comedy challenges current cultural standards. His subject matter definitely confronts societal rules and can make people uncomfortable. Despite the reasonable drawback, there are health benefits to his brand of humor.
First, the challenge is turning off the police officer of political correctness in your brain. Doing so is not only necessary but cathartic.
Next, remember that entertainment is simply entertainment. It is meant to separate people from life’s problems for a short time. Besides, as the adage declares, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
According to the Mayo Clinic: “Laughter is the best because of its short and long-term health benefits “enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.” Furthermore, laughing cools down the body’s stress response, which ultimately results in “a good, relaxed feeling.
Remember, it is comedy’s job to ease overwhelmed hearts and minds. All Sides author Rev. Barbara Ann Michaels explains why laughter is the best medicine. People watching comedy to temporarily distract themselves from the day’s stressors may seem improper, insensitive, and actively dissuaded. Michaels said, “Everything that needs to heal finds humor eventually.”
A prime example is “Bringing Down the House” (2002), in which Queen Latifah plays opposite Martin. These outstanding comics play off of one another as though they work together regularly. Unfortunately, the film’s ratings do not reflect the laughter factor of over-the-top exaggerated, stereotypical, socially sensitive Black culture vs white cluelessness.
The 78-year-old comedy genius has an extensive portfolio of work that can be found here.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Saturday Night Live Wiki Fandom: Steve Martin
Mayo Clinic: Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke.
IMDb: Steve Martin Biography