Saturday, March 15, 2008

#273 More from the 1970s

Thirty years ago, about the same time as the first of those Star Wars movies appeared, I was lucky enough to see Steve Martin on stage.
He performed a wildly funny stand-up act in Joplin, MO around 1978. Though he doesn't specifically mention his Memorial Hall appearance in his new memoir, Born Standing Up, I'm sure Steve remembers that night with fondness. Since Memorial Hall holds only 3000, he had the perfect venue for sharing his balloon animals, his magic tricks, and his arrow-through-head banjo playing.

Born Standing Up reminded me of this fun night and of this wild and crazy guy. I was a little disappointed with Steve's brief reference to a low-tech librarian at the University of Tulsa on page 120, but other than that, BSU provides an insightful glimpse into the personal life of this man who worked so hard to become a stand-up comedian and gave it all up in 1981 at the peak of his popularity.

In his acknowledgements, Steve thanks the Internet... "I have learned that people are uploading their lives into cyberspace and am convinced that one day all human knowledge and memory will exist on a suitable hard drive which, for preservation, will be flung out of the solar system to orbit a galaxy far, far away."

Yours in appreciating the humor of Steve Martin for 30 years and in uploading my life into cyberspace,

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