Friday Video: A White Suit, a Banjo, & an Arrow Through His Head

A Night of Peak Wild and Crazy

It’s difficult to convey decades later what a phenomenon Steve Martin was in the late seventies before he traded stand-up comedy for a career as film actor. Comedy just exploded around this period and a large part of that was due to the comic as superstar success of Steve Martin. I don’t mean to diminish the work of other comedians at the time, but Martin just kicked the doors wide open for everyone who came after him.

So here is Steve Martin at the peak of his self-involved seventies absurdist persona before a massive audience in the Universal Amphitheatre in September 1978. This is not too long before he stepped away from stand up. I’m somewhere in that crowd with my mother and father as a gift for my birthday. A bonus chunk of trivia is that the first Blues Brothers album was recorded over the three nights they were the opening act for Martin in this venue.

Note: the video title lists this as being in 1979, but that’s when the concert aired on television, not the year of the actual performance.