Steve Martin Roy Blount, Jr. - Essay

Roy Blount, Jr.

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

As a monologist, Martin is no Richard Pryor or Lily Tomlin (to name the two great stand-up comedians since W. C. Fields) or Lenny Bruce or Randy Newman or Bob or Ray. The best thing about his TV special last season was The New York Times's preview of it. To read in the newspaper of record that a man was to deliver on prime time network television a long sketch about turtle wrangling was gratifying; the sketch itself, one felt, was long. On his big-selling live album [A Wild and Crazy Guy], Martin performs worn material rather perfunctorily for an audience that seems intent on getting hysterical without grounds. His appeal to the young borders on the bubble gummy.

But Martin has done...

(The entire section is 674 words.)