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(Boing Boing)   Steve Martin's father wrote a negative review of his son's movie "The Jerk" in his company real estate newsletter. He hated those cans   (boingboing.net) divider line 165
    More: Dumbass, Steve Martin, Boing Boing  
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17452 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jul 2012 at 3:36 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-16 01:42:55 PM  
Roger Ebert on "The Jerk":

It seems to me that there are two basic approaches to any kind of comedy, and in a burst of oversimplification I'll call them the Funny Hat and the Funny Logic approaches. The difference is elementary: In the first, we're supposed to laugh because the comic is wearing the funny hat, and in the second it's funny because of his reasons for wearing the funny hat.

You may have guessed by now that I prefer the Funny Logic approach, and that "The Jerk" is almost entirely a movie of Funny Hats. An example, from the film's opening premise: Steve Martin has been raised as a member of a family of poor black Southern sharecroppers, and, although he is white, it has never occurred to him that he might be adopted. His life is happy until the day he learns the truth, and is sent out into the world to earn his way. He hits the road wearing a World War II bomber's helmet and goggles. OK. "The Jerk" wants us to laugh at this material just at the most basic level. Martin is white and thinks the blacks are his parents, ha, ha. He wears a funny hat when he hits the road, ho, ho. Those are the whats. What about the whys? Why is he wearing the goggles? So we will laugh. There's no plot point to be made, and nothing is being said about his character-except, of course, that he's a jerk.


HE HATES THESE HATS! STAY AWAY FROM THE HATS!
 
2012-07-16 02:08:01 PM  
I don't hate these cans...

mojoimage.com
 
2012-07-16 02:40:16 PM  
img.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-16 02:43:12 PM  

Uzzah: Roger Ebert on "The Jerk":

It seems to me that there are two basic approaches to any kind of comedy, and in a burst of oversimplification I'll call them the Funny Hat and the Funny Logic approaches. The difference is elementary: In the first, we're supposed to laugh because the comic is wearing the funny hat, and in the second it's funny because of his reasons for wearing the funny hat.

You may have guessed by now that I prefer the Funny Logic approach, and that "The Jerk" is almost entirely a movie of Funny Hats. An example, from the film's opening premise: Steve Martin has been raised as a member of a family of poor black Southern sharecroppers, and, although he is white, it has never occurred to him that he might be adopted. His life is happy until the day he learns the truth, and is sent out into the world to earn his way. He hits the road wearing a World War II bomber's helmet and goggles. OK. "The Jerk" wants us to laugh at this material just at the most basic level. Martin is white and thinks the blacks are his parents, ha, ha. He wears a funny hat when he hits the road, ho, ho. Those are the whats. What about the whys? Why is he wearing the goggles? So we will laugh. There's no plot point to be made, and nothing is being said about his character-except, of course, that he's a jerk.

HE HATES THESE HATS! STAY AWAY FROM THE HATS!


Wow. Ebert needs to take some literature classes. The ironic Bildungsroman, starting with Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus through Innocents Abroad and on, is a classic art form.
 
2012-07-16 02:46:17 PM  
It's a good thing I ignore what movie reviews typically say. The Jerk and The Big Lebowski are all time classic comedies, in my opinion. Mixed Nuts, too.
 
2012-07-16 02:52:32 PM  
The father's comments in "Born Standing Up" weren't about "The Jerk". They were about Martin's first appearance on Saturday Night Live, which Martin's father said "wouldn't further his career" (p.171) and his father later "shamefacedly" admitted his mistake (p. 172) and said he loved "Picasso at the Lapin Agile." (p.196)

While I love "The Jerk", I don't have access to a copy of Martin's first appearance on SNL.

I guess he was certainly wrong about the appearance furthering Martin's career, since his audiences doubled right after the show.
 
2012-07-16 03:06:10 PM  
True Fact: I proposed to Mrs. Mysticcat while watching The Jerk.
 
2012-07-16 03:33:44 PM  

mysticcat: True Fact: I proposed to Mrs. Mysticcat while watching The Jerk.


I'll bet she helped you find your "special purpose" after that.
 
2012-07-16 03:36:58 PM  

Ed Finnerty: mysticcat: True Fact: I proposed to Mrs. Mysticcat while watching The Jerk.

I'll bet she helped you find your "special purpose" after that.


There was no "extra work", however.
 
2012-07-16 03:38:26 PM  

simplicimus: The ironic Bildungsroman, starting with Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus through Innocents Abroad and on, is a classic art form.


But it insists upon itself.
 
2012-07-16 03:38:45 PM  
I loved him in Mork & Mindy.
 
2012-07-16 03:39:18 PM  

mysticcat: True Fact: I proposed to Mrs. Mysticcat while watching The Jerk.


I like The Jerk a lot. But that's just weird, my friend.
 
2012-07-16 03:39:42 PM  
I still think cup o'pizza is a great idea.
 
2012-07-16 03:42:03 PM  
Bastid was lucky he didn't get a taste of what Terra Haute got
 
2012-07-16 03:42:42 PM  
Everytime I see a car dragging a small church behind it, I think of "The Jerk".
 
2012-07-16 03:43:35 PM  
He must be an Enemy of Carlotta.
 
2012-07-16 03:46:11 PM  
pizza in a cup trifecta in play?
 
2012-07-16 03:46:23 PM  
t2.gstatic.com
t2.gstatic.com.
Pretty sure if I became insta rich over night, I'd act very similar
 
2012-07-16 03:46:27 PM  
Protip: if you have fond memories of "The Jerk" from childhood, do NOT rewatch it. It is painful to watch as an adult here in our current era of sophisticated entertainment. Your memories will be ruined.
 
2012-07-16 03:47:11 PM  

Uzzah: Roger Ebert on "The Jerk":


I love Ebert, and always have (lucky to have grown up in Chicago when At The Movies was on WTTW). But he sure missed the ball on that one.

Like someone said above, that type of genere has been part of literature and film forever.

I hate when critics knock a movie just for using certain devices. Critique *how* they use said devices, and feel free to compare them to similar movies.

For example, I liked the first "Jackass" movie. But for reasons far different than why I also loved "Best In Show".
 
2012-07-16 03:48:14 PM  

gopher321: I don't hate these cans...

[mojoimage.com image 435x358]


mmm bernadette peters in her prime...delicious.

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-07-16 03:48:14 PM  

gopher321: [mojoimage.com image 435x358]


One of the best lines, "I don't mind giving up all the money, it's giving up all the stuuuff", in that Bernadette Peters whine. Oh yeah. I had, and maintain such a boner for her. Just for her. A special one.
 
2012-07-16 03:48:16 PM  
Thankfully Steve Martin didn't need a good review. All he needed was this lamp. This lamp and this stool.
 
2012-07-16 03:48:37 PM  

Jument: mysticcat: True Fact: I proposed to Mrs. Mysticcat while watching The Jerk.

I like The Jerk a lot. But that's just weird, my friend.


Thank you. It was a long time ago. During the VHS era.
 
2012-07-16 03:48:39 PM  
Born Standing Up is a great autobiography. I listened to the audio book read by Martin and was even more of a fan afterwards.
 
2012-07-16 03:48:58 PM  

Counter_Intelligent: simplicimus: The ironic Bildungsroman, starting with Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus through Innocents Abroad and on, is a classic art form.

But it insists upon itself.


And it insisted so much, I gave in and took a Fark ID just to get it to shut up.
 
2012-07-16 03:49:32 PM  
Lord loves a workin' man; don't trust whitey; see a doctor and get rid of it.
 
2012-07-16 03:49:39 PM  

Didn't his association with Playboy also help propel his career even higher?

The late 70s/early 80s were the peak of Playboy's influence... I think both the magazine and Steve Martin combined to raise the stature of each other.

i.imgur.com


He would be the third man to appear on a Playboy cover 7 months later, and any Farker over 40 should know who the playmate was in THAT issue.
 
2012-07-16 03:50:42 PM  
 
2012-07-16 03:51:11 PM  

downstairs: Uzzah: Roger Ebert on "The Jerk":

I love Ebert, and always have (lucky to have grown up in Chicago when At The Movies was on WTTW). But he sure missed the ball on that one.


Indeed, I usually go along with Ebert, and I'm surprised that he completely missed the brilliant absurdity and subtle satire in The Jerk.
 
2012-07-16 03:52:46 PM  

Nadie_AZ: It's a good thing I ignore what movie reviews typically say. The Jerk and The Big Lebowski are all time classic comedies, in my opinion. Mixed Nuts, too.


Did the The Big Lebowski get any negative reviews?
 
2012-07-16 03:53:29 PM  
I wonder if he's changed his mind since that first review. He's been known to admit that he dropped the ball on a movie review. One that comes to mind, is his first review of Slapshot. He railed on it, and years later said he was wrong.
 
2012-07-16 03:53:34 PM  

howdyyall9999: gopher321: I don't hate these cans...

[mojoimage.com image 435x358]

mmm bernadette peters in her prime...delicious.

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 198x320]


Hell, I'd do Bernadette Peters NOW! That women ages like she's got a portrait of herself stored away somewhere in her attic.
 
2012-07-16 03:54:02 PM  
A review of a book that came out 5 years ago? Next up, he reviews the movie Transformers
 
2012-07-16 03:54:05 PM  

Breathe Laugh Twitch: Protip: if you have fond memories of "The Jerk" from childhood, do NOT rewatch it. It is painful to watch as an adult here in our current era of sophisticated entertainment. Your memories will be ruined.


This.

Bought the DVD in the last year and kind of regretted it. I was 8 when it came out originally, and I saw it in the theater (with double feature of "Animal House" which was my first time seeing breasts in a movie, and incredibly cool).

But Bernadette Peters was still pretty hot
 
2012-07-16 03:55:52 PM  

Jonathan Hohensee: howdyyall9999: gopher321: I don't hate these cans...

[mojoimage.com image 435x358]

mmm bernadette peters in her prime...delicious.

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 198x320]

Hell, I'd do Bernadette Peters NOW! That women ages like she's got a portrait of herself stored away somewhere in her attic.


Duly noted and I concur good sir!
 
2012-07-16 03:56:47 PM  

Jonathan Hohensee: Hell, I'd do Bernadette Peters NOW!


Hell, I'd do Madeline Kahn now.

/but that's just me
 
2012-07-16 03:56:59 PM  

Breathe Laugh Twitch: Protip: if you have fond memories of "The Jerk" from childhood, do NOT rewatch it. It is painful to watch as an adult here in our current era of sophisticated entertainment. Your memories will be ruined.


Yeah, I just watched Caddyshack the other day. It seems like a bunch of great scenes (jokes) stringed together with little to link them together.
 
2012-07-16 03:57:04 PM  

Evil-Imposter: Everytime I see a car dragging a small church behind it, I think of "The Jerk".


its usually just Mr. Nusbaum.


I GOT HIM!
 
2012-07-16 03:57:11 PM  
He's not carnival personnel!
 
2012-07-16 03:58:54 PM  
I loves me some The Jerk, and I quote or reference it far more often than I probably should. But I find that most people (of the appropriate age and above) not only get, but also appreciate the references. It seems to be a universally loved movie.

/Cup O' Pizza was not only funny but also not too bad of an idea.
 
2012-07-16 03:59:05 PM  
OOOOOOOOH, i'm picking out a thermos for yoooooou
not ordinary thermos for yoooou

you guys are crazy, its still a laugh riot
 
2012-07-16 03:59:15 PM  
In the father's defense... "The Jerk" was pretty much a pile. :-/
 
2012-07-16 03:59:42 PM  
oh, its a PROFIT deal! that takes all the pressure off!
 
2012-07-16 03:59:54 PM  

LesserEvil: Didn't his association with Playboy also help propel his career even higher?

The late 70s/early 80s were the peak of Playboy's influence... I think both the magazine and Steve Martin combined to raise the stature of each other.

[i.imgur.com image 300x400]

He would be the third man to appear on a Playboy cover 7 months later, and any Farker over 40 should know who the playmate was in THAT issue.


In those days, Playboy was an incredible magazine. I would've bought it w/o the chicks.

BTW, who was the playmate? I'm guessing Stratton???
 
2012-07-16 04:01:08 PM  

howdyyall9999: gopher321: I don't hate these cans...

[mojoimage.com image 435x358]

mmm bernadette peters in her prime...delicious.

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 198x320]


i937.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-16 04:01:48 PM  

ski9600: Breathe Laugh Twitch: Protip: if you have fond memories of "The Jerk" from childhood, do NOT rewatch it. It is painful to watch as an adult here in our current era of sophisticated entertainment. Your memories will be ruined.

Yeah, I just watched Caddyshack the other day. It seems like a bunch of great scenes (jokes) stringed together with little to link them together.


I think they used cocaine to link them together.
 
2012-07-16 04:03:21 PM  
What did his dad think of "The Man With Two Brains"?

That's the important question.
 
2012-07-16 04:03:22 PM  

Counter_Intelligent: simplicimus: The ironic Bildungsroman, starting with Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus through Innocents Abroad and on, is a classic art form.

But it insists upon itself.


I found it shallow and pandemic.
 
2012-07-16 04:03:47 PM  

Cargo: Breathe Laugh Twitch: Protip: if you have fond memories of "The Jerk" from childhood, do NOT rewatch it. It is painful to watch as an adult here in our current era of sophisticated entertainment. Your memories will be ruined.

This.

Bought the DVD in the last year and kind of regretted it. I was 8 when it came out originally, and I saw it in the theater (with double feature of "Animal House" which was my first time seeing breasts in a movie, and incredibly cool).

But Bernadette Peters was still pretty hot


I liked watching it again. I own the DVD, and I will watch it again every couple of months. For some reason my wife says she has three kids.
 
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