Martin's style is a pie in the faces of Lenny Bruce, Dick Gregory, Mort Sahl and all the iconoclastic comics who dominated the stand-up scene in the '60s and whose legacy has been passed down to most of today's best comedians. Now, the prevailing style is less political, but it retains an ethnic edge and an outsider's perspective. Woody Allen mines a mother lode of anxiety and insecurity, pleading the case for the little guy. Lily Tomlin urges that attention be paid to society's outcasts. Richard Pryor spins complex tales of survival in the ghetto.
All Steve Martin asks is that everyone have a good time. His approach is a throwback to vaudeville, slapstick and the comedy of his childhood idols, Red...
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