By Gary North
I don't think most Steve Martin fans understand what he has done, but I do. I want to share with you what I regard as the highest-risk career strategy that I have ever seen. It worked. I find it hard to believe, but it worked.
I am not a big fan of Steve Martin's brand of comedy. I just don't get it. It is not that I have not given him a chance to win me over. I have. But, after 45 years, I still don't get it.
I first saw him perform at the Golden Bear, what in those days was called a folk music club. It was in Huntington Beach in Orange County, California. That was back in 1967.
I remember him very well — amazingly well. His performance was that memorable. I had gone to see a friend perform, Steve Gillette. His album had just been released by Vanguard. His song, Back on the Street Again, had been a big hit for the Sunshine Company that year. He was building a following in the region. He was the headliner. Martin was the filler.
Martin stood in front of the crowd with a banjo strapped around his neck. I kept waiting for him to play the banjo. He kept talking. I initially thought he was a…