Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An Homage to the Master

I love Tina Fey. I love Amy Poehler. I loved BABY MAMA. It was irreverent. It was fresh. It was funny.

But I come not only to praise BABY MAMA. I come also to praise the scene-stealer. I come to praise the ridiculous one. I come to praise the master. I come to praise the funniest man ever. Today, I'm here to praise Steve Martin.

Steve has a somewhat small part in BABY MAMA. He plays Barry, the Zen-Master President of a Fresh Market-ish grocery chain. He's Tina Fey's boss. And he's freaking awesome.

Steve Martin is classically zany and he's always been at his best when he's at his zaniest. I was on a big kick a few months ago where I listened to his comedy albums from the late '70s and they are genius. This was when I was doing landscaping. I would be walking around a yard spraying some dangerous chemical, listening to Steve and if anyone was watching, they would have seen me giggling uncontrollably (and probably spraying Round-Up all over somebody's yard). This stuff is ridiculous and silly and goofy and hilarious. An example:
I am so mad at my mother! She's 102 years old and she called me last week because she wanted to borrow 10 dollars for some food! I said, "Hey, I work for a living!" So I loan her the money, I have one of my secretaries take it down and yesterday she calls me and says she can't pay me back for awhile. I said "What is this bullspit?" So I worked it out with her - I'm having her work on my transmission. And if she can't fix that I'm having her move my barbells up to the attic.

"I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too."

Back to BABY MAMA for a minute. My favorite Steve Martin part comes when Tina Fey's character does something good for the company and Steve says "Congratulations, Kate. I want to reward you with five minutes of uninterrupted eye contact." It would be so stupid if anyone else did it, but Steve had me giggling like a schoolgirl.

Maybe that's what so great about BABY MAMA. Yes, Tina and Amy carry the movie and both are hilarious. But they also fill in the gaps that other comedies leave empty. Those small moments that could have been just plot devices, BABY MAMA cracks you up with. Watch it just for Steve Martin (Barry) telling Amy Poehler's character the secret to success. Watch it for the chocolate poop. Watch it for the best joke about PAM of all time. Watch it because it's funny.

BABY MAMA gets 4 farts in a purse out of 5.


myleswerntz said...

I loved this movie. I went to go see it at the dollar movie and would have paid to see it six times over there. Steve Martin was a genius. Not to take away from the ladies: Tina Fey plays the 'straight-man' really well, and Amy Pohler was over the top, but Steve Martin...

the hamster said...

three of my favorite steve martin lines, from one his records:

"mambo the dogface to the banana patch."

"alright, enough comedy jokes!"

"what's THAT you're saying?"

when we still lived together, my friend jesse and i used to stay up late drinking beers and crying together over his steve martin records. we still throw these three lines at each other on a regular basis. good stuff. righteous.

ps. i have a crush the size of four minnesotas on tina fey. she's just so delightfully tina feyish.

myleswerntz said...

Doesn't Tina Fey remind you of Gretchen Poole, only with fewer fart jokes?

the hamster said...

good call. maybe that's why i want to run and tackle tina fey in front of a library.

gep said...

you don't know how happy it makes me that i remind you of the greek goddess of funny. i really don't know what to say other than, i'm truly honored.

but, unfortunately, i have to say, i was very disappointed with the movie. and, truth be told, i thought steve martin was the weakest link. these days, he plays a caricature of himself in everything he does. i want the man with two brains/the jerk/three amigos steve back. enough of cheaper by the dozen/bringing down the house steve. (i'm shaking my head in shame for him.)

on an up note, i want to have amy poehler's baby because of this movie. lovelovelove that lady.