Steve Martin is getting the last word on his recent 92nd Street Y interview that resulted in disappointed ticketholders receiving a full refund.
As Marquee reported last week, fans expected Martin to talk about his life and career during the event – which was also broadcast on closed-circuit TV – but the funnyman spoke only about his appreciation of art and his new book, "An Object of Beauty." Those watching on TV sent angry emails to the Y, and Martin's interviewer, Deborah Solomon, was handed a note to switch the topic to Martin's career. The next day, the Y told the 900 ticketholders they would receive a refund.
Now, in a New York Times piece penned by Martin, he is having his say about the incident.
"When I arrived for Monday’s talk, I was informed that it would be telecast on closed-circuit TV across the country. What I wasn’t told was that the viewers were going to be encouraged to send in e-mails during the discussion; what I didn’t expect was that the Y would take the temperature of those e-mailed reactions, and then respond to them by sending a staff member onstage, mid-conversation, with a note that said, 'Discuss Steve’s career,' " he says. "This was as jarring and disheartening as a cell phone jangle during an Act V soliloquy."
Martin – who claims he would rather have "died on stage" talking about art than answer the "predictable" questions submitted by fans - says he was completely thrown by the interruption and found it difficult to get back on track.
"I have no doubt that, in time, and with some cooperation from the audience, we would have achieved ignition," he says. "I have been performing a long time, and I can tell when the audience’s attention is straying. I do not need a note."
More importantly, 65-year-old Martin says he can't help but wonder where the conversation might have went if he hadn't been forced to change the subject.
"If the e-mailers could have lived with 'I am unamused' for just a little longer, or had given us some understanding based on past performance, or even a little old-fashioned respect, something worthwhile, unusual or calamitous might have emerged."
What is wrong with people??? I would've LOVED to have heard him speak about art and his new book! He is so talented and smart in so many ways...does he have to be 'on' all the time? I hope he doesn't let this experience bring him down...Steve, those people are idiots...you're not! Keep writing and playing the banjo and making movies and inspiring me!!! xoxo
Steve Martin can be very funny The Jerk is one of the funniest movies ever. Steve Martin is also very intelligent and an amazing writer. I have never seen someone who can write so many diverse pieces. He did Shop Girl, LA Story, and a play about Picasso. I would have loved to have heard Steve Martin speak about real things that he has a passion for and not just his career. Sadly most people in this country have to have everything dumbed down for them and can't follow a conversation about something other than the King Tut song. I applaud Steve for trying to show multiple layers of his personality.
Steve Martin has one of the most important collections of Americana art, including Edward Hopper. I saw one of his exhibitions when I was in Las Vegas a couple of years ago, it was amazing. It's terrible that a reknown man can't talk about things that he has a passion for without people demanding to see the clown they've typecast him as. He has a broader scope, and he's shown it. The whole thing is just unfortunate. No one should be getting their money back. If it was a book talk, his book was about art.
Steve is a pro. Occasionally he might just be smarter than the room. The chances he and the audience take during entertainment.
"...where the conversation might have went..."
Mark Marino, did you complete the second grade? This is atrocious! Can you not construct even a simple English sentence correctly?
Steve Martin has always been a talented gifted person as others are in the world of entertainment. No matter what people say evryone's, got their own opinon.. As for my enjoyable moments, anything involving Mr. Martins' talents, you can always count on me sitting in on that moment of his abilities of entertaining everyone. Keep it up Steve... I'll always be your biggest fan!!! Aloha & Mahalo!
The most offensive thing in this article is the use of the phrase "might have went" by CNN. At which community college are they recruiting these days?
I attended the Steve Martin event...the audience was displeased with Debbie Solomon's interview NOT Mr. Martin. She was scattered, self serving and continually cut him off...we wanted to hear Mr. Martin's thoughts NOT hers. She seemed to think she was the star of the evening....people in the surrounding rows echoed this...rather vocally and angrily while exiting the theatre.
Wow. A news article about an op-ed piece, mostly cpntaining quotes from the op-ed. Truly lazy reporting.
I wear womens underwear 24/7
I am the most boring!!!
I used to be a fan until he took up the banjo and started labeling himself a Renaissance man. He's so pretentious. I've gone completely 180 on him. What a phoney, stuck-up snob.
No, he's just not your monkey. He has other interests than making you laugh.
"Was I boring? Maybe"
You have been since around 1982.
I was always under the impression that this particular program @ the Y really catered to more intellectual conversations- perhaps not.
it would have been nice if the actual audience could have participated in a conversation. instead, he gets a note from a bunch of dorks emailing in? get off the damn computer & be present!
Steve is an outstanding artist in aspect of the ward .
I blame the cleaning woman.
Well said, Mr. Martin.
I used to really enjoy Steve Martin, but I honestly couldn't watch the Pink Panther all the way through, for how dumb it was. It showed me that he just isn't that funny. I guess I will just have to remember him when he was actually funny. Now he just seems desperate for roles. RIP Steve
Perhaps you can address your sincere disappointment in Mr. Martin's decline in amusing you at your next TED lecture.
I love Steve. I think he has great talent not just as a comic. Sadly, he is also a tortured soul and this situation will sit heavy on his heart for a long time.
I don't think he's boring...he's one of the funniest people on tv....in movies....I think he's great!!!!
zzzzzz... get over yourself, your a comic!
And -you're- obviously a grammar teacher.
As well as an actor, grammy winning musician, author, producer, etc...
He's 65. He's probably tired of talking about The Jerk and Plains, Trains, and Automobiles.
"More importantly, 65-year-old Martin says he can't help but wonder where the conversation might have went if he hadn't been forced to change the subject."
I can't help but wonder where the conversation might have GONE, myself.
thanks -- you beat me to it!
Thanks - I couldn't believe I read such a badly written sentence. Where have all the good editors gone?
And where have all the patient and educated listeners gone? When did we start running everything like an audience-voting reality show?
All the bestest of everything have went to the foxy newsy.
Glenn Beck has went, Sarah Palin have goned, all the most best.
I agree with Steve Martin. He's not a one~trick pony who only does stand up, King Tut, or banjo tunes. He is a well respected, longtime art collector who has a passion for the topic and something of value to say. If the audience wanted to know about his film career or celeb tidbits, they should stay home and watch Entertainment Tonight. Unreal...
I'm a Dancing with the Stars, Bachelor watching local yokel who knows nothing about at except to recognize a Norman Rockwell when I seen one. I would have loved to have listented to Steve Martin talk about because of his reputation as an art lover.
This dude stopped being funny after he played King Tut!
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