Tuesday, January 29, 2008

steve martin on being funny

Found this by way of my internet lover BoingBoing: Here's A lengthy article in the Smithsonian by Steve Martin and how he developed his stand-up routine. It's really just an excerpt of a chapter of his great memoir Born Standing Up. I bought the book for my mom for Christmas, and I accidentally read it before I wrapped it. I made sure not to crack the spine or smear palm sweat over the cover -- it was a gift, after all. Though I'm sure my mom wouldn't've minded TOO much if the book got banged up. Mom always seemed excited about gifts of construction paper glued to other construction paper when I was little, so a banged-up hardback is an amazing step up.

Steve Martin had terrific patience for teaching his audience how to understand his comedy, or not understand his comedy -- not understanding is part of the fun. It's also a bit of a lesson on how artists need to build in a subconscious lesson plan within the work, something to teach the audience how to process it. Easier said than done.