TOWN HALL LOS ANGELES FEATURES STEVE MARTIN AND CAROL BURNETT IN DIALOGUE
Q: What one significant thing do Steve Martin and Carol Burnett share in common, besides being two of the funniest people alive? (See answer at end of review.)
In a most rewarding evening of repartee, Town Hall Los Angeles combined forces with Writer's Bloc for an entertaining, fun event seating Steve Martin opposite Carol Burnett to talk about their lives, writings and experiences. All at once, we were facing both one wild and crazy guy, talking to one wild and crazy gal and the chuckles came fast and furiously:
Steve told us that people watch television more than any other appliance. Carol responded to Steve's admiration of her legs with the clever retort, "They're the last thing to go!" In a quiet moment, Steve dared Carol to ask him a question to which Carol responded, "Did you ever hurt yourself?" alluding to the hundreds of pratfalls Steve has taken in his career.
Carol described how she loved talking to the audience in her warm up for her show. Steve responded, "I always thought the audience was my enemy!"
Carol admitted the fright she always felt at doing comedy alone; Steve said when people leave the theater, he thinks, "Thank God, they're gone!" In their attempt for a few moments of one-upsmanship, Steve said, "I met Woody Allen" to which Carol retorted, "He used to work for me!"
In an as yet undisclosed story, Carol told of the time Kate Smith appeared on her show carrying a huge chocolate cake in a pink box to the set. During the time she was there, Ms. Smith ate the entire cake which caused her director to whisper to Carol, "That woman surely has a sweet tusk!"
Steve confided how very interesting it was to write about things from twenty-five years ago for it brought him such internal pleasure to have to reflect on the past in a totally different way than writing stand-up. When asked by Carol why he wrote the book he did, his immediate response was, "I'm running out of time!"
Other names mentioned included Cary Grant, Johnny Carson, Carl Reiner, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Lorne Michaels, The Smothers Brothers and Gary Moore, as well as a very brief mention of Martin's recent marriage and some of Carol's personal vignettes about her husband, Joe Hamilton and her three daughters. One cute anecdote: Carol was out one evening with her husband and three girls – Erin was four at the time and having an off night and being reprimanded a few times by Carol. during dinner, After a long, petulant silence, Erin piped up, "I love you daddy"…and a few seconds later added, "and I love your wife!"
Precious, revealing, sensitive, humorous and oh, so pleasant, these two stars, described in their introduction by Andrea Grossman as "legendary and royalty", gave the packed crowd at the Wilshire Theater their twenty dollars worth and more. And the line for their books went on forever.
Answer: Both Steve and Carol were dropouts at UCLA