Since I like banjo music and since we’re on a the subject of funny men with musical, talent I thought I’d post Steve Martin today. Steve got his start working in the magic shop on Main Street in Disneyland but his big break came when he was hired as a writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. In the 70’s he became a regular on the Tonight Show. By the late 70’s he was a stand up comedy superstar. He made his movie debut in the regrettable 1978 “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Happily the next year he wrote and starred in “The Jerk” which properly launched his successful movie career. Steve often played the banjo as part of his stand-up act but last year he won a Grammy for Best Blue Grass Album for his CD “The Crow: New Songs For The 5-String Banjo.” Here is Steve with his beautiful, original composition “The Crow.”
I’m watching “The Jerk” tonight because writing this post reminded me it exists. I owe Steve Martin a debt of gratitude for the line “I was born a poor Black child.” My mom was an unwed, unemployed teen when I was born so it is a perfectly accurate statement for me to make but for some reason whenever I say it, it cracks people up! I get a lot of comedy mileage out of old Navin Johnson so I should buy him a Twinkie and a Tab. Do they still make Tab?