For a long time I have been pondering a post on people who have too many skills (like Isabel Bayrakdarian, the Opera Diva who is also a Biomedical Engineer, Masi Oka, who stars on ‘Heroes’ and also designs special effects for ILM, etc.) But the king of this category, always, is Steve Martin. And so I’ve decided that he should really have his own post, as he is really in his own league.
So, Steve Martin. Funny! Classic goofball, SNL cast member responsible for many classic bits, and an actor who has that rare ability to play someone as extroverted, classless and oddball as Freddy Benson in ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ and then entirely strip it away to be melancholy, understated and elegant in something like ‘Shopgirl’ and make us think both times that he’s probably so good at it because he’s just playing a version of himself. And oh, right, ‘Shopgirl.’ That was that movie that was based on that wonderful, bittersweet little book with the same title – the book that made me feel for the first time that I understood Los Angeles. Wait, who wrote that book? Oh, wait, STEVE MARTIN. He writes too!! And not only does he write, he writes beautifully! Funny plays, funny books, heartbreaking plays, heartbreaking books. And every once in a while, something like this will pop up, just to remind us of his awesome – his ‘leaked’ tour rider, which is one of my new favorite things ever:
I had also heard that Steve Martin played the banjo. Well, I assumed, Steve Martin must play the banjo like many celebrities play instruments; sort of okay, something they do for fun every once in a while. So I found this clip, and I’ll let you recreate my reaction:
Did you do what I did? Because mine was like “Oh look, yup, chatting with Vince Gill or whoever that is, so pleased to be at Grand Old Opry, humble, lovely, yada yada, I’m sure it’s not going to beHOLYFUCKINGCRAPTHATISAMAZING!!!!”
Here’s another one, in which he plays longer (amazing again, and why is banjo the perfect soundtrack for summer?)
So in brief, thank you for existing, Steve Martin. You are awesome. And if there are aliens out there who intend to come to earth anytime soon, I hope that you will look to Steve Martin as a prime example of a human, and thus be lenient on the rest of us, who are lucky to have one skill that we do as well as Steve Martin seems to do EVERYTHING.