Steve Martin conducted this awkward/awesome interview with Richard Pryor when he was the guest hosting for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show on June 19, 1978. Glen Campbell was also on the couch that night.
Just thought I’d share this great photo of Steve Martin—long before his hair turned gray—circa 1970. Martin had been a staff writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour which had been canceled by CBS the year before.
Hilarious record store “sales tool” made by Steve Martin to promote his 1978 comedy album, A Wild And Crazy Guy. The LP went on to become one of the biggest selling comedy albums of all time, eventually being certified double platinum.
I saw the “Wild And Crazy Guy” tour when I was in the seventh grade, at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh on January 13, 1978. We were seated so far away that it could have practically been anybody with grey hair in a white three-piece suit and an arrow through his head.
In 1978, when I was in the seventh grade, I was a total fanatic for Steve Martin. Comedy was as important to me at that time as punk rock was and Steve Martin, Fernwood 2Night, National Lampoon, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Marx Brothers and (especially) the Firesign Theatre were every bit the equal of the Clash or Sex Pistols in my eyes.
I saw Steve Martin “in concert” on the A Wild and Crazy Guy tour just as his career went supernova. King Tut was in the singles charts (I still have the picture sleeve 45) at the time and his latest album had just gone double platinum. Martin, is of course, still a big star, but in 1978, he was a rock star among comedians, arguable the biggest.
It was the first really big show I’d ever seen, held at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, a venue normally reserved for the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Emerson. Lake and Palmer. The place was huge and we sat in the very, very last row of the section furthest back from the stage. I get vertigo easily and it was acute for me sitting there, but no matter, I was about to see one of my heros in person!
When Steve Martin walked out onto the stage that night, frankly he could have been anybody with a white 3-piece suit (his then trademark attire), grey hair, some balloon animals and an arrow through his head. He was so far away that it was impossible for him to have had any rapport with the cheap seats other than to do the standard “How are we doin’ up there?” banter. But like I gave a shit, I was in heaven. Here I was in the same room with Steve Martin! Well me and 11,000 other people…
The encore, predictably, was King Tut. Performing to a recorded backing track, at one point an electric guitar was lowered from the flies, Martin grabbed it, attacking it furiously, strumming five chords in the space of about two or three seconds and up and and away it went again. I was buzzing about this show for at least the next three days.
Below are some examples of primo 70s Steve Martin appearances and an in-concert clip of King Tut. I noticed that one guy on YouTube has a 7 DVD set of Steve Martin on TV in the 70s. I might have to get that.
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