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Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty (1980)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy  |  14 February 1980 (USA)
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Steve Martin's second NBC special was done entirely in sketches. Highlights include: Marty Robbins' "El Paso" with monkeys; "The Death of Socrates;" and "Bizarre Oddities of the World."


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Title: Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty (TV Movie 1980)

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Credited cast:
Himself / Various
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
King of Cey What
Love God's Date
Pyramid Owner
TV Director
Gary Mule Deer ...
Louis Nye ...
Laundry Customer
Public Service Announcer
Cafe Counter Guy
Dick Schaap ...
Noah Tutak ...
Kid run over by steamroller


Steve Martin's second NBC special was done entirely in sketches. Highlights include: Marty Robbins' "El Paso" with monkeys; "The Death of Socrates;" and "Bizarre Oddities of the World."

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

14 February 1980 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The special was produced without a laugh track, more like a film. See more »


Steve Martin: [as Socrates] It was always: "Socrates, what is truth? Socrates, what is the nature of the good? Socrates, what should I order? Socrates, what are you having?" And not once did anyone ever say: "Socrates, hemlock is poison!"
See more »


Featured in The Winds of Whoopie (1983) See more »


Born to Be Wild
Written by Mars Bonfire
Performed by Steve Martin
Produced by William E. McEuen for Aspen Recording Society
See more »

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User Reviews

Spotty Sketch Show Has Some Great Moments
4 April 2003 | by (Nebraska) – See all my reviews

This show (not seen on network tv since 1988) represents the 'old' Steve Martin, as he began to outgrow the 'wild and crazy guy' persona. The sketches vary from hilarious (a parody of Marty Robbins' "El Paso" where Martin acts out the song with trained monkeys may be the funniest thing he's ever done) to subtle genius (he lip-synch's "Some Enchanted Evening", and does it straight, wearing a white tux) to parody (he mimics "60 Minutes" by turning the tables and investigating THEM, esp. Morley Safer being Canadian--look for Paul Reubens in a odd cameo as a sandwich maker), and those are the strong points. Other skits are inconsistent (the diving competition bit has some funny moments), dated(his "Love God" routine with Joyce DeWitt dies a rather painful death) or a bit offensive (a drunk driving steamroller bit actually made my mother storm out of the room!)...

This is a nostalgia piece for fans of the old "arrow through the head" Martin of the slightly pretentious "artist" will likely be confused.

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