CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
DVD Review: ‘Steve Martin: The Television Stuff’ Collects Comedy History
CHICAGO – Do young people know of the importance of Steve Martin to the history of comedy? In the ’70s, he helped revolutionize the form through his unique, smart, daring approach on-stage and in his TV comedies and on “Saturday Night Live.” Much of the material that made him a superstar has been collected in a stellar three-disc set from Shout Factory, now available on DVD under the banner “Steve Martin: The Television Stuff.”
I must admit that some of this material doesn’t play like it did on its initial airdate. It’s a style of comedy that’s a bit dated and I imagine felt much more anarchistic to the entire form when it first aired. There are large chunks of “The Television Stuff” that I found more interesting as history than as comedy. But is that really a problem? This is a great box set to have for TV and comedy historians, those people interested in how much of our modern, dry, ironic comedy style was born through a man in a white suit with a fake arrow on his head.
Steve Martin: The Television Stuff was released on DVD on September 18, 2012
Photo credit: Shout Factory
Steve Martin remains one of the most beloved and creatively prolific talents in American comedy, but until now his body of work on television has been largely unavailable on DVD. That all changes here. From the stand-up act that made him a comedy rock star (of which only two complete performances were ever recorded, both included in this set) to his four joyfully twisted NBC sketch comedy specials, his Oscar-nominated short film and a jewel box of additional comic bits, The Television Stuff finally delivers one of the most unique and treasured eras in Steve Martin’s celebrated career.
|Click here to buy “Steve Martin: The Television Stuff”|
The Stand Up Specials
* On Location With Steve Martin (Live At The Troubadour, 1976)
* Homage To Steve (Includes “The Absent-Minded Waiter” And Steve Live At The Universal Amphitheatre, 1979)
The NBC Specials
* Steve Martin: A Wild And Crazy Guy (1978)
* Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty (1980)
* All Commercials… A Steve Martin Special (1980)
* Steve Martin’s Best Show Ever (1981)
Bits And Pieces
* Spanning 1966-2005, A Collection Of Television Guest Appearances, Speeches and Music Videos
o New Interview with Steve Martin