Steve Martin Performed Stand-up Last Night for the First Time in 35 Years
Comedian/actor Steve Martin gave his first stand-up comedy performance in more than 35 years at New York’s Beacon Theatre last night, February 18. The audience was surprised when Martin stepped out on stage as the warm-up act at Jerry Seinfeld’s new monthly show at the Manhattan venue. It marked the first time the funnyman has hit the stage to deliver his gut-busting routine since 1981.
Around 8:04 p.m. on thursday, the lights dimmed at New York’s Beacon Theatre and Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” played over the PA. I wouldn’t call it the most surprising choice, considering that the audience was there to see Jerry Seinfeld’s second show in a yearlong residency at the storied venue. Then an announcer came on — “Good evening, New York City, and welcome to the 2016 Jerry Seinfeld show” — and I, like everyone else, didn’t even stop the conversation I was having, it was so innocuous. “Please welcome Jerry’s very special guest …” The announcer paused there, and I still didn’t think much of it. It’s probably Tom Papa, I thought, Seinfeld’s regular opener, who is a very fine stand-up but undoubtedly gets called a “very special guest” mostly out of politeness. But the announcer’s pause continued, and I wondered if he might say “Paul Simon,” as there was a guitar mic onstage and I have to assume Seinfeld is friends with Simon, you know, just from being famous guys — hell, Tom Hanks was in the audience. Then he said it: “Mr. Steve Martin.” I lost all of my shit. I screamed a scream I was familiar with, as it’s the sort of scream I’ve heard at comedy shows for years when some celebrity — be it Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, or Louis C.K. — drops in on a show unannounced; however, this time it was coming from my mouth. This was a very special guest.