I remember American comedian Steve Martin was a very odd person indeed

First impressions last

I am told I make a very bad first impression on people.

This is never a good thing, because first impressions last.

When I was working on Channel 4 TV series The Last Resort With Jonathan Ross, the American comedian Steve Martin was a guest on the show. I think it was his first appearance on British TV. I only met him briefly just before he went on set to perform.

I thought he was a bit odd. He moved in a very stiff way – he was very unrelaxed and I thought he was clearly one of those occasional showbiz people who are just overwhelmingly doolally.

When he moved his body, everything moved. His torso did not twist; his entire body, from neck to ankle turned as one unit, as if made from concrete. And he barely turned his head. When he did, it was in a very odd, starched way.

When he went on the show, he performed as The Great Flydini, a comedy magic act in which he had lots of little bits and pieces hidden within his trousers – he produced eggs, full-sized paintings, a telephone, a singing glove puppet of Luciano Pavarotti and much more… all from the flies of his trousers.

I thought he also dropped out of his suit lots of bits of cutlery which (for comedy purposes) he was supposed to have stolen from the canteen. But, when I looked at the video on YouTube he did not. I had mis-remembered it.

The whole thing – the whole reason for him moving oddly when I met him just before he went on set – was because he had all these props hidden inside his clothing for comedic purposes. No wonder he moved oddly.

I mis-remembered the cutlery.

But, to this day, what I do remember is that Steve Martin was very odd.

Except he was not.

First impressions last.


Filed under Celebrity, Comedy

2 responses to “I remember American comedian Steve Martin was a very odd person indeed

  1. I remember watching this, it was his first appearance on British TV and may well have been at Christmas. Roxanne – his first main stream hit – was due to open early the following year.

    I watched that youtube clip fairly recently, as well as a more recent appearance of his on Letterman with his “Singing Balls” act.

    Another one of my favourite shows that turns out to be something you worked on.

  2. It’s true that he wasn’t hugely known in the UK at the time, but I remember his appearance on The Muppet Show a decade earlier, so it certainly wasn’t his UK début.

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