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Steve Martin and Martin Short have been nearly inseparable since meeting more than 30 years ago on the set of “Three Amigos.” The two legendary Hollywood comedians sat down with Steve Goldbloom to discuss their latest touring special, “Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t” and their brief but spectacular take on their “fabulously popular and undeserved success.”
Steve Martin and Martin Short met more than 30 years ago. And the legendary comedians have been nearly inseparable ever since.
They sat down with Brief But Spectacular host Steve Goldbloom to talk about their latest touring special, "Now You See Them, Soon You Won't."
This is now a standard now on all the interviews, the moving sideways camera.
But I always find it odd to cut to someone who's not talking — who will be talking into camera.
But, you know, you have always struggled. Remember when you struggled with the talkies? When the talkies came in, you were always, I had to work on my voice.
Now, don't keep looking at him. Remember, look at the green tape.
Ah, just relax.
One, two, three.
It's hard to make a career in show business, possibly even harder to sustain a career in show business. Did you ever think that you would be relevant for this long?
I guess he's talking to me.
Let me just say, Steve, what an honor it is for me to be standing next to a man who is a novelist, a playwright, a musician, a composer, and a legendary comedian.
And let me say what an honor it is for me to be standing next to the man who is standing next to that man.
Seeing your work together, it feels like it commands the attention, the same way like an Oscars monologue commands attention. And then you slow things down, and you become reflective, and you're talking about each other's work.
Tell me about the design of your special and your tour.
This was a real moment for both of us, when we — we're totally rehearsed. We have done the show 100 times. Everything was just in its beautiful little comedic place.
You know, it was a work in progress as we developed it.
And still is.
I mean, there would be time we'd think, gee, should we cut the chat? Does the chat slow it down? And someone else would say, no, no, no, that's like having dinner with you guys.
The banjo helps slow things down a little bit.
Yes, let me get it.
No, no, no. He just — he just mentioned it.
Just because you mention a banjo doesn't mean you…
I got it back at the apartment.
No, no, no.
Steve, what is your relationship to the banjo?
Martin, what is your relationship to Steve's banjo?
I dated Steve's banjo for many years.
I started playing in the '60s. I have been playing for 55 years. I know. I should be better.
We're in show business, but I have another life as a musician. You have a whole other set of friends that kind of levels you out. It's really nice.
That's why you're un-level.
In the show that I saw last year, it seems like there's an honest mistake. Steve, you say "Grinville." Martin, you say "Greenville."
And you say, you would tell me, Steve, if you were having a stroke, wouldn't you? And it looked like a — is that a real mistake? Are there real mistakes?
No, it was a real mistake. Yes. Yes.
Yes. Totally, yes.
We will never intentionally make a mistake, but, sometimes…
Because that looks phony. I think the audience smells it. But if something happens, we exploit it.
In your work together, left-handed compliments play a big role, and you talk about a lot of them. What are some of your favorites?
One of the great things about touring around the country with Marty Short, no paparazzi.
Ah. This is…
Boy, that landed good.
The crew's been instructed not to laugh.
Oh, just like our audiences. That must be what happens.
There is a Martin Short on Twitter, but it's a nutritionist in London.
You're not on Twitter?
No, I'm not.
Steve, you're very good at Twitter.
I stopped. I thought it was too dangerous.
Just that you might say something that would offend people?
You can say the most innocuous thing, and, suddenly, you're in the news.
Martin, does Jiminy Glick allow you to say things that you wish you could say in real life?
One time I was interviewing Edie Falco, and I asked her a question. I said, "What was it like starting off as a young actress?"
And she started answering. And I went, "Shh. Just because I ask you a question doesn't mean I need an answer."
And she said she used to be shushed as a kid. And it was an electrical shock in her.
Faux flattery plays such a character in your role, in your work together and your appearances on talk shows. For this moment, if you could, look at each other and pay each other just a genuine compliment.
We can't do that.
I can't do that.
No, I will tell you. I have said this before. But you are great singer, and you use it exactly right. I have heard you talk about it. No, I don't want to sing a serious song.
But when we do, do our comedy songs, they're so beautifully sung. And I worked with Karen Carpenter. I toured with her, who has an amazing voice, an amazing instrument every night. And you have this kind of amazing instrument, because you really sound like Karen Carpenter.
Don't go there.
I don't have anything.
Hi, I'm Steve Martin.
And I'm Martin Short.
And this is our Brief But Spectacular take on…
… our fabulously popular and undeserved success.
And we could watch them for much longer than brief.
Watch the Full Episode
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