76e: Steve Martin / Kinky Friedman
Steve Martin's Monologue
Don Pardo V/O: Ladies and gentlemen, Steve Martin!
[Martin enters, runs down stairs to home base where he
stands between his banjo and a stool upon which are
some props. He basks in applause, wearing his
trademark white suit with black shoes and red
Steve Martin: [arms in the air] Thank you very much.
Thank you, this is too much, thank you, thank you!
[bows] Okay! Well, I didn't expect this.
[bows] Thank you very much. Okay. We're havin' some
fun now, eh, folks? Okay, it's, uh, great to be here
in New York. Um, I know that sounds phony 'cause every
entertainer in the world comes out no matter where
they are and they always go "HEY! IT'S REALLY GREAT TO
BE HERE!" And it really sounds fake. But, believe me,
I am sincere when I say, "HEY! IT'S REALLY
GREAT TO BE HERE!" Okay, no, seriously, it is great to
be here. And, um, well, actually, it's great to be ...
here. [steps one pace to his right] Okay, so-- No!
It's great to be here! [a few steps to his left] This
is where it's great to be. [walks upstage] No! It's
great to be here, too! [turns, heads back downstage]
Well, I'll never forget how great it was to be over
there. [back where he started] Okay, we're movin' now.
[takes a glass of water from stool] 'Scuse me. [sips
water through straw, puts glass back on stool, spits
out a mouthful of water to his left] All right.
We on? [waves hands in mock protest] Okay, okay, okay,
okay. To, uh, open the show, I always like to do one
thing that IS impossible. [holds up straw from water
glass] So right now I'm going to suck this stool into
my lungs. [bends over stool and tries to suck stool
through straw - nothing happens, of course -
straightens up, with mock disappointment] Oh, darn.
[throws straw away] Okay! Well, here's something you
don't often see. [jumps up and down twice, grunting,
wild-eyed, while stretching corners of mouth with
fingers] Okay, um. You know, a lot of people come to
me - they say, Steve, how can you be so damn
funny? Well, uh, I'm kinda gettin' out of the comedy
thing now, uh, gettin' more into the music so I'd like
to do a banjo tune for ya right now. Here we go.
[picks up banjo, applause] Thank you very much. Thank
you. [straps on banjo, pauses] I don't deserve it. All
right. Was it free to get in? [audience says "yes"]
It's free? Okay. Get your money's worth on this. Okay,
doesn't matter if it's free to get in, whatever, uh,
we're on network, uh, big show. You're expecting to
see a professional show so let's not waste any more
time! Here we go with ... PROFESSIONAL SHOW BUSINESS!
Let's go, hey! [picks a note or two on banjo, then
immediately backs away and starts tuning it]
Here we go. [plays a steady rhythmic riff] Hey, this
guy's good. [sings] "Well, I'm ramblin', ramblin'
'round, I'm a ramblin' guy, I'm ramblin', oh, yes, oh,
yes!" [whistles poorly, shrugs, speaks] Free to get
in. [sings] "I'm a ramblin' guy - R-A-M-B-L-I-N
apostrophe, oh yes, I'm ramblin' -- Ramblin' to New
York City, N-Y-C! Rent a car, get a hotel, for only
two hundred dollars a day. Oh, yes." [speaks] Okay,
everybody! "I'm a ram--" Come on! Sing with me!
Come on, have some fun, come on! "Ramblin' ..." Are
you people uptight or somethin'? You can't sing
along--? Oh, I forgot... New York. [applause, keeps
playing] Okay! All right, ladies only! "Oh, look! A
ramblin' guy!" Come on! Okay, this half of the room!
Beautiful! Now this half! Good, good! All right, two
fifths! Now, three-fifths! Good. Seven-ninths!
Two-ninths. All right, in Chinese now! [sings Chinese
gibberish, then sings in English:] "Well, I'm
ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin',
ramblin', ramblin', ramblin'! Ram! Mah! BLINNNN!"
[suddenly launches into a long, snappy, complex banjo
instrumental, smiles and raises eyebrows at audience,
stops, takes a fake arrow-through-the-head prop from
the stool and puts it on] I like to keep the laughs
rolling even while I'm playing. [finishes banjo tune
triumphantly] Heyyyy! [applause]
[sings without banjo] "Oh, I'm a neat guy!" [speaks]
Excuse me, excuse me. All right, um, you know, uh, the
banjo's such a happy instrument, it really is. It's a
good thing for a comedian, like me, and, uh, it's just
a happy thing, you know. [plays a happy melody] Isn't
that happy? You just can't sing a depressing song when
you're playing the banjo. You can't go-- [grins, plays
and sings] "Oh, murder and death and grief and
sorrow!" [pauses, holds up his hand] Really, when
you're with me, it's like being at Shakey's Pizza, you
know? It's just... [plays "Ain't She Sweet?"] Hey!
[keeps playing "Ain't She Sweet?" but sings "Swanee
River"] "Way down upon the Swanee River..." [gets
confused, peers at banjo, stops playing, waves
Okay, I wanna do this, uh, last banjo tune and, uh,
we'll move on with the show. Could I get, like, a
tight shot, maybe, on the fingers, on this, okay?
Dave? Dave Wilson, the director. I'd like to start off
with a tight shot, okay? [no tight shot appears, gets
annoyed] I did this thing in dress. I thought we had
it worked out. I'm sorry. [clears throat, gets
increasingly upset] Okay, I'll do something else then.
I can go with it, all right? You know what I'm saying?
It's just, uh, um, you know, you ask for something,
you think you're gonna get it, throws you off, when
you're a performer, a professional like I am, and uh,
I'm sorry if I look a little angry but, uh, I guess I
am, because, uh, you know, it hurts you. You
know what I'm saying? It hurts the people who are
watching the show when me, the artist, comes out here
and I can't get, what, a little cooperation, you know
what I mean? I mean, I can't get a little help from
the backstage crew? EXCUUUUUUSE MEEEEEEE!
[applause, still upset] I'm sorry! I'm angry! [plays
banjo tune, suddenly breaks out into a happy grin,
apologetic] I'm sorry! We'll be back after this
commercial! [tight shot on the fingers playing the
banjo as we fade out]