On Stage at the Kennedy Center: The Mark Twain Prize Celebrating Lorne Michaels 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)
Steve Martin was never interested in finding just one niche and remaining there for his entire life, as evidenced by his career evolution from TV writer to goofy stand-up comic to A-List star of offbeat comedies, family fare, dramas and musicals. His early, rock-star like fame as a comedian influenced a whole generation of performers with its experimental, no- punch-line style that sent-up vaudeville as much as it borrowed from his studies as a philosophy major. As a film actor, Martin's strongest work was generally material he wrote himself - comedies with a palpable heart and poignancy behind the puns, like "Roxanne" (1987), L.A. Story (1991) and the adaptation of his bestselling novella, "Shopgirl" (2005). Despite the iconic status of his 1979 comedy classic, "The Jerk," his film career was spotty however, and through the 1990s and beyond, Martin was mainly known for rote family comedies that relied not on "wild and crazy" antics but on his roles as the straight man exasperated over the wild and crazy antics of kids or unwelcome intruders in his quiet suburban world. Off-screen, enigmatic Martin had a reputation as a spotlight-shunning, quiet intellectual and fine art collector who, well into his sixties, was still full of surprises on the screen, the stage and on the page.