Quotes Archive

What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke.

- Steve Martin

When I finally retire, I just want to go away so no one has to listen to me.

- Steve Martin

When I first started doing my comedy act, I just desperately needed material. So I took literally everything I knew how to do on stage with me, which was juggling, magic and banjo and my little comedy routines. I always felt the audience sorta tolerated the serious musical parts while I was doing my comedy.

- Steve Martin

When I was in college, I really liked poetry. I don’t read much anymore.

- Steve Martin

When I was in college, I was debating to try my hand at show business, or to become a professor. I just thought of the risk of not going into show business and always wondering if I would’ve had a chance. Because that’s where my real heart was.

- Steve Martin

When your hobbies get in the way of your work – that’s OK, but when your hobbies get in the way of themselves… well.

- Steve Martin

With comedy, you have no place to go but more comedy, so you’re never off the hook.

- Steve Martin

You know what your problem is, it’s that you haven’t seen enough movies – all of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.

- Steve Martin

You want to be a bit compulsive in your art or craft or whatever you do. You want to be focused on it.

- Steve Martin

Tweeting is really only good for one thing – it’s just good for tweeting… It is rewarding, because it’s just its own reward. It’s sort of like heaven.

- Steve Martin

Well, excuuuuuse me!

- Steve Martin

Well, today the Grammys is much much better than the Oscars. I think the differences in the shows are that the Grammys are much wilder. The Oscars is much more people in the industry. And people dress wilder, I think, at the Grammys.

- Steve Martin

What I mean is that none of my talents had a – what’s that great word – rubric. A singer, an actor, a dancer – there was nothing I could really say I was. The writing came much later. And, actually, thank God, because if I had said I’m a singer, I would really have just had one thing to do.

- Steve Martin

What is a movie star? A movie star is many things. They can be tall, short, thin, or skinny. They can be Democrats… or skinny.

- Steve Martin

No matter how many times people say it – ‘Oh, I’m just writing this for myself’ ‘Oh, I’m just doing this for myself’ – nobody’s doing it for themselves! You’re doing it for an audience. So whether I’m performing or writing a book or playing music, it’s definitely to be put out there and to be received in some way, definitely.

- Steve Martin

Nothing I do is done by popular demand.

- Steve Martin

Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.

- Steve Martin

The banjo is truly an American instrument, and it captures something about our past.

- Steve Martin

The bluegrass community… can be very strict. I didn’t know if I’d be welcomed into the bluegrass community or not, but I think they judge you very fairly… I felt really welcome.

- Steve Martin

The real joy is in constructing a sentence. But I see myself as an actor first because writing is what you do when you are ready and acting is what you do when someone else is ready.

- Steve Martin

The thing about the banjo is, when you first hear it, it strikes many people as ‘What’s that?’ There’s something very compelling about it to certain people; that’s the way I was; that’s the way a lot of banjo players and people who love the banjo are.

- Steve Martin

I’ve always believed that there are funny people everywhere, but they’re just not comedians. In fact, some of my best comedic inspirations were not professional entertainers.

- Steve Martin

Theories, for me, are just about freeing your mind. It doesn’t mean the theory is going to work like a scientific theory works. It’s about freeing your mind and making you think a different way.

- Steve Martin

I’ve got to keep breathing. It’ll be my worst business mistake if I don’t.

- Steve Martin

There is one thing I would break up over, and that is if she caught me with another woman. I won’t stand for that.

- Steve Martin

I’ve run into people in my life who were so dramatic; people who are so extreme and so frustrating to be around that you end up thinking about them and talking about them for literally years after your experience with them is over. I’ve had that happen to me, and I’ve seen it happen to other people. I find it fascinating.

- Steve Martin

There’s a lot of thought in art. People get to talk about important things. There’s a lot of sex, you know, in art. There’s a lot of naked women and men, and there’s intrigue, there’s fakery. It’s a real microcosm of the larger world.

- Steve Martin

In my banjo show with the Steep Canyon Rangers, I do do comedy during that show. It’d be absurd just to stand there mute and play 25 banjo songs.

- Steve Martin

Throughout my whole life, as a performer, I’ve never played with a band. I’ve always played alone, so I was never required to stay in rhythm or anything. So it was a real different experience for me to start playing with a band. There were so many basic things for me to learn.

- Steve Martin

It’s a mystery to me the way that contemporary art galleries function.

- Steve Martin

L.A. is only where you live, because otherwise it’s just a sprawling mass of everything, and I think if you live in L.A., you get a little network of places you go, and people you see, and when you leave town, you do miss those places and your friends.

- Steve Martin

Love is a promise delivered already broken.

- Steve Martin

Most comedies are really hard to write, or to watch, because you kind of generally know what’s coming.

- Steve Martin

Movies always are open to being remade because times change so much, and the tempo of movies changes. I think of it like a James Bond. They can have different actors play the same role… I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘We want to remake ‘The Jerk’ with so and so.’ And I say, ‘Fine.’ It just doesn’t bother me. It’s an honor actually.

- Steve Martin

I was reading an article in the ‘New York Times;’ it talked about being in the zone, and being in the zone you’re so focused that time ceases to exist. It’s when you think, ‘Oh, I’ve been doing this for five hours and didn’t even know it.’ It’s the difference between hard work and going, ’12 o’clock, not moving.’

- Steve Martin

I was very interested in vaudeville. It was the only sort of discipline that was a five-minute act on stage, which is what I really enjoyed and saw myself doing. And I bought books on it.

- Steve Martin

I wish I could do a lot of things different. I’m not going to tell you what they are, but if I had a list of all my films right now, I’d go, ‘Okay, I’ll cross that one out and cross that one out and cross that one out and cross that one out.’ Really. But I’ve made over 40 films. How can I not have some losers in there?

- Steve Martin

I never thought about success. I always thought about doing the job at hand. My goal was getting through the show that night.

- Steve Martin

I would get records by Earl Scruggs… I would tune my banjo down and I’d pick out the songs note by note. Learned how to play that way. I persevered. There was a book written by Pete Seeger, who showed you some basic strumming and some basic picking… And I kind of worked out my own style of playing.

- Steve Martin

I never thought much about success early on. I only thought about being a comedian – or just being in show business, is really more accurate.

- Steve Martin

I’m enamored with the art world. Anytime you look at anything that’s considered artistic, there’s a commercial world around it: the ballet, opera, any kind of music. It can’t exist without it.

- Steve Martin

I realized that comedians of the day were operating on jokes and punch lines. The moment you say the punch line, the audience either laughs sincerely or they laugh automatically or they don’t laugh. The thing that bothered me was that automatic laugh. I said, that’s not real laughter.

- Steve Martin

I’m for the Wall Street Occupiers. But will they accept me when they find out I sell packaged mortgage default instruments to children?

- Steve Martin

I really enjoy finding the right word, creating a good, flowing sentence. I enjoy the rhythm of the words.

- Steve Martin

I’m tired of wasting letters when punctuation will do, period.

- Steve Martin

I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.

- Steve Martin

I think I meant that, given the circumstances of my childhood, I had the illusion that it’s easier to be alone. To have your relationships be casual and also to pose as a solitary person, because it was more romantic. You know, I was raised on the idea of the ramblin’ man and the loner.

- Steve Martin

I think there are people out there writing original bluegrass songs, but it’s hard to get them out on the air.

- Steve Martin

I think when I was young, let’s call it high school, and even before that, I just loved comedy, and I loved comedians. I grew up watching Laurel and Hardy. That’s really a long time ago. I loved Jerry Lewis. I just loved comedians.

- Steve Martin

I thought ‘Borat’ was a breakthrough comedy, because it was really funny. It wasn’t some studio-produced script with 14 writers.

- Steve Martin

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