I had pointed to Steve Martin’s blog once before, in reference to banjos. You see, as many of you know, I recently retired from the Air Force (Where I served in academia) and am now in a civilian institution as a professor. As a retirement gift, my parents fulfilled a long-time dream of mine–to have a banjo (I am now working on the other part of that long term dream–learning to play it!) By the way, just think how many parents actually get to see their son’s retirement, let alone give em a gift…
Anyway, I digress. Steve Martin is quite an accomplished banjo player, although I remember reading that he points out all things, especially banjo playing, require one to stay in practice, and he had gotten rusty. I was pleased, though, to learn that he still has an affiinity for the banjo.
This brings me to his latest entry concerning his new movie, the Pink Panther. He worked to not copy Peter Sellers. I find that to be quite an interesting challenge, since so much of my life I find myself quoting Sellers.
How many of you remember Peter Sellers as the Pink Panther? Yes…. I thought so…. most of you in the class. Now–how many of you can name the role he played in Dr Strangelove? Oh, okay… yes… he was Dr Strangelove… Yes, yes, he was also the President (and for you trivia buffs–what was the President’s name, AND what does the name “mean?”) He also played the british Wing Commander that helped break the code.
While not imitating Peter Sellers I believe Steve Martin has more in common with Sellers than not. Both are highly skilled, not only as actors, but as artists, and citizens. In fact, Martin perhaps transcends all, with his work as serious and comedic author as well.
One final note: I was watching an interview with either Mel Brookes, or Reiner, who recently wrote a book. The interviewer asked if he was trying to copy Martin, and the response? “I wrote a novel in (the 50s sometime) back when Martin was still just playing the Banjo.”
That hurt. “JUST”???
Steve–from one Steve to another, if you read this, Thank you.