If any 92nd Street Y audience members were dissatisfied with Steve Martin's fine-arts-based discussion with Deborah Solomon in 2010 (for which guests received a refund), they need merely turn to this 2007 interview with Charlie Rose. In Martin's discussion about his early career, his lifetime in comedy, and Born Standing Up, his memoir that says it all, the comedian delivers the laughs. His stories are hilarious and heartfelt, and he has a fraternal rapport with Rose, the great public television personality who considers Martin a friend. The world of fine art might not be brought up once in this discussion, but the high comedic arts are on abundant display.
©2007 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association; (P)2007 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association
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Who knew Charlie Rose had it in him to come off as boorish, rude, inappropriate and uninformed? But apparently the brilliance and flawless eloquence of his guest is more than a match for Rose's missteps in this interview, which I consider easily worth the cost on Audible, even at twice or three times the listed price. Rose's glaringly obvious gaffes here include: Asking a question and not waiting for an answer before asking another question; asking a question and then interrupting his guest as Martin attempts to give an answer; laughing inappropriately during a heartfelt confession of real (and not joyful) emotion; providing false information in his question, forcing his guest to contradict him in his answer; and at one point, unbelievably, actually fumbling condolences when Martin begins to cry during retelling of a particularly painful anecdote related to his difficult relationship with his father. Humble, gracious Steve Martin easily and seemingly effortlessly sidesteps ALL of the mines in this minefield of an interview, though, and you'll come away with a new respect for Steve Martin, a newfound interest in discovering and reading everything Steve Martin has ever written, and a newfound wonder at how inept interviewers ever manage to rise to celebrity status in the entertainment industry.
This is a solid listen, I'm glad I bought it, and I will doubtless listen again several more times. Although I was unable to locate Audible recordings of either Martin's exquisite novella Shopgirl or his play Picasso at the Lapin Agile, this interview did inspire me to use a credit immediately on Martin's novel An Object of Beauty, which apparently was inspired by his own experience as an art collector.
Amazing how much is covered in an hour, actually almost in spite of Charlie Rose, who comes across as uninformed about his subject & is corrected repeatedly on guesses he makes which he shouldn't be having to guess about.
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