Steve Martin: Before he was a “wild & crazy guy.”
Before Steve Martin became famous for his white suit and the arrow through his head — and for being a "wild and crazy guy" on Saturday Night Live, he didn't seem that much more clever than the rest of us, as you can see from his appearance on 'The Dating Game'. Tweet
Steve Martin wasn't born wild and crazy or with an arrow through his head.
He had to work hard to get those things. And he did, going from 'The Dating Game' to stardom in a white suit.
Martin says his life hasn't been bad, considering he "started out with a bunch of blank paper."
We hope your goal for yourself is to be a better man tomorrow than you are today.
With that goal in mind, we offer a few different views of comedian and actor Steve Martin from many years ago.
‘Fame fell on me as a byproduct. The course was more plodding than heroic.’
“I did stand-up comedy for eighteen years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success. I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a byproduct. The course was more plodding than heroic.”
Before Steve Martin became famous for his white suit and the arrow through his head and for being a “wild and crazy guy,” along with his appearances on Saturday Night Live and comedy shows in packed arenas…
…he didn’t seem that much more clever than the rest of us. He graduated from a high school in Garden Grove, California, then, like many of his classmates, went to a local state college, in case he ever needed a job — which, fortunately, he found doing magic tricks in nearby Disneyland. As he put it, “I was not naturally talented. I didn’t sing, dance or act, though working around that minor detail made me inventive…
And when he finally broke into stand-up, his philosophy was purely practical: “I never thought about success. My goal was getting through the show that night.”
So did that strategy work? Take a look at this early appearance on The Dating Game:
- OK, he had potential.
- But he still needed a lot of work to reach that potential.
- He was probably relieved he wasn’t related to Dean Martin.
- And at some point, like the rest of us, he probably wondered if it was worth pushing forward. He could have called it quits and settled for something less for himself.
‘I did pretty well, considering I started out with a bunch of blank paper.’
But he didn’t. “I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.”
And so, yes, he did win the date with Dean Martin’s daughter and she was not his sister, but answer me this: would anyone have predicted from his performance that day on the The Dating Game that he would go on to star on Saturday Night Live 27 times, sell out arenas like a rock star, star in movies such as The Jerk, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, win five Grammys, an honorary Academy Award, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and be ranked sixth on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time?
To get the answer, we asked the man himself: