Why Steve Martin’s career is worth celebrating

Steve Martin has been an entertainer for over 60 years. As he was getting ready to wind down his multifaceted career, “Only Murders in the Building” became Hulu’s most-watched original comedy. Then came a tour and a new book and an upcoming documentary. Martin seems to be busier than ever.

But in a recent interview, the comedic legend commented that it might be time to let his career slow down naturally. With the last episode of Season 2 of “Only Murders in the Building” airing on Aug. 23, now is the perfect time for a Steve Martin-themed watch party.

In this article: Ibanez B50 5-String Banjo, Melissa and Doug Deluxe Magic Set and Hasbro Clue

Why Steve Martin is an entertainment icon

Martin began his career as a magician

In 1960, Steve Martin worked at Disney’s famed Magic Shop. This early training set the groundwork for bits he would later incorporate into his stand-up routine. During his stint, he learned how to perform magic, how to juggle and how to create balloon animals.

He wrote for some of the best shows on TV

From 1967 to 1973, Martin was a comedy writer. During that time, he wrote for some of the biggest television shows, including “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” and “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.”

Martin has appeared as a guest on numerous TV shows

Besides working behind the scenes, Martin forged an unforgettable identity as an outrageous performer. Back when careers were made with guest appearances, he was on such notable shows as “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” “Saturday Night Live” and “The Muppet show.”

He incorporated simple props into his stand-up act

From very early in his career, Steve Martin was a master at incorporating simple props into his stand-up routine. One of his earliest and most memorable bits included struggling to make an unrecognizable puppy out of balloons. But inflatable creatures weren’t his only go-to sight gags. Martin also wore a fake arrow through his head and played a banjo between jokes.

Martin understood the importance of a great catchphrase

Throughout his career, Steve Martin has created countless phrases that have become part of pop culture. Arguably, his biggest was an exaggerated “Well, excuse me!” Another unforgettable phrase came from when Martin played one of the Festrunk brothers on “Saturday Night Live” with Dan Aykroyd where he would proclaim, “We’re two wild and crazy guys!”

His humor was rooted in philosophy

Martin’s twisted take on humor reportedly originated when he was studying philosophy in college. He realized the absurdity of non sequiturs. The more he built up a punchline, the harder he would turn away from what was expected. Getting rid of logic opened the doors to allow him to let his jokes land anywhere, keeping the audience off balance.

Martin utilizes all of his tools and skills

Besides taking balloon animals and making them part of his stand-up act, Martin incorporated other skills he learned into various aspects of his impressive career. For instance, in his breakout movie, “The Jerk,” Martin’s character is asked to help put an end to the inhumane act of cat juggling. And during one of his many appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” he performed one of the most comically absurd magic acts ever seen on television. Martin appeared as The Great Flydini, a magician who had the uncanny ability to make anything appear out of the fly in his pants.

He is serious about his comedy

The illusion of being exceptionally skilled is you make it look effortless, and Steve Martin makes what he does seem like second nature. He understands his job and how important it is to be prepared. Martin reportedly spends months working up material for a brief live appearance, just to make sure he can give his best performance. 

Martin is an accomplished musician (with five Grammy awards)

While Martin has released several noteworthy comedy albums, such as the platinum-selling, award-winning “Let’s Get Small,” and his Billboard Top-20 hit “King Tut,” the prolific recording artist has won more Grammy awards for his serious music in country, bluegrass and American roots genres.

He writes more than comedy

Although he is known for his comedy writing, Martin has also had success as a screenwriter, a playwright, penned notable essays, collaborated with “New Yorker” cartoonists and written such acclaimed novellas as “The Pleasure of My Company” and “Shopgirl.”

At 77, Martin is still writing relatable and wildly entertaining material

In this age of fleeting attention spans, it’s hard to keep a career going for a few years, let alone several decades. Steve Martin’s expansive repertoire of work remains engaging, relevant and entertaining.

What you need to throw a Steve Martin-themed watch party

Music-Best Ibanez B50 5-String Banjo

Ibanez B50 5-String Banjo

If you’re serious about being an entertainer of Martin’s caliber, you need a banjo. This model from Ibanez has a mahogany back, neck and sides, so it looks as good as it sounds.

Sold by Amazon

Toys-Best Melissa and Doug Deluxe Magic Set

Melissa and Doug Deluxe Magic Set

Martin’s first job was performing as a magician. With this fun kit from Melissa and Doug, you can follow in his footsteps and be the life of the party.

Sold by Amazon, Kohl’s and Macy’s

Best Schylling How To Make Balloon Animals Kit

Schylling How To Make Balloon Animals Kit

Want to learn how to make a balloon puppy? This kit gives you everything you need to make balloon animals. It comes with balloons, instructions and a pump. 

Sold by Macy’s

Toys-

Costume Gold Chain

You can’t be a wild and crazy guy without your bling. This oversized gold medallion will let potential partners know you’re a swinging guy.

Sold by Amazon

Toys-Best Halloween Headband Costume

Halloween Headband Costume

Can it really be a Steve Martin-themed party without someone wearing an arrow through the head? The answer is no.

Sold by Amazon

Toys-Best Aurora World Flopsie

Aurora World Flopsie

You don’t have to incur the wrath of PETA to juggle. Entertain your friends humanely by keeping three of these plush cats rotating in the air.   

Sold by Amazon

Toys-Games-Best Hasbro Clue

Hasbro Clue

If you and your friends want to live “Murders in the Building,” this popular board game will let you do just that. Figure out the perpetrator, place and weapon involved in the crime before the other players to win the game.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

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