Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Imagined Conversations with Steve Martin Upon Seeing a Commercial for Pink Panther 2

ME: So you're doing another Pink Panther movie, huh?
STEVE MARTIN: Yeah. I just thought the original Peter Sellers ones were so funny and original and generally brilliant that I wanted to make more.
ME: Even though you did one a few years ago. You decided not to stop.
STEVE MARTIN: After this, who knows? I might keep going.
ME: I just think it's odd because it looks horrible, this movie. It looks stupid and over the top and just...just stupid.
STEVE MARTIN: Wow. Okay. Well, again, I just think it's a type of movie that was so great originally and I wanted to bring it back.
ME: Okay. Well, new topic then. Did I ever tell you I loved the 1983 Seattle Seahawks?
STEVE MARTIN: No, you didn't.
ME: Oh, they were great. Chuck Knox's first year coaching the team, Curt Warner was this amazing rookie running back. Dave Krieg was this scrappy quarterback. They made it to the playoffs and almost the Super Bowl.
STEVE MARTIN: Wow. That's great.
ME: Yeah, so here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to get that team back together except I'm going to start at quarterback instead of Dave Krieg. Then we're going to play against some modern NFL teams.
STEVE MARTIN: What? But all those guys are long since retired. Warner hasn't played in 18 years. And you have no business playing quarterback, especially today.
ME: But you don't understand, Steve Martin. I LOVED that team. I'm bringing them to a modern audience. And I'm inserting myself in the middle of it.
STEVE MARTIN: But that will be horrible to watch. Painful. Cruel, really.
ME: So you're saying that I should just leave the past alone? Let it be a good memory and that that's good enough?
STEVE MARTIN: Yes! Yes, of course!
ME: I see.


SCARLETT JOHANSSON: Hey, did you hear about my album? I recorded all these Tom Waits songs because I really like Tom Waits.
STEVE MARTIN: Really? Those songs are incredibly difficult. Not only are they very complex vocal arrangements but there's a depth of soul in them that is nearly impossible to pull off. I mean, you're a good actress and all but it's hard to see such an endeavor as anything but a vanity project.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON: You may have a point, Steve Martin. I guess just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
STEVE MARTIN: Exactly. Hey, wait a min--
SCARLETT JOHANSSON: But here's the thing. Zillions of records get released all the time. Hell, with technology being what it is, anyone can put out an album that sounds professional. That means there's so much music that to hear anything in particular you need to seek it out. It doesn't come to you. So if someone thinks the idea of me singing Waits songs is ridiculous, well, they can avoid my record. I've had my fun, they've avoided it, no harm done.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON: It's not like movies. If it's a big budget movie, it becomes a cultural event for anyone who consumes media. You can't watch TV or look at a newspaper without hearing about it. And God forbid you go to the theater, you may be forced to endure a three minute trailer for the goddamn thing. And if it's a horrible remake of a beloved film franchise, then it's like...uh...
STEVE MARTIN: Like what?
SCARLETT JOHANSSON: I guess I'll go with "someone pooping on your memory".


STEVE MARTIN: Peter Sellers?! What are you doing at the foot of my bed while I sleep?! You're dead!
PETER SELLERS: Yes. But this movie of yours...I started rolling in my grave. Then I figured I may as well get up. I was wondering if you knew what made the Pink Panther movies so funny in the first place.
STEVE MARTIN: I think so. I've made two of them now. What really makes it work is the funny French accent!
STEVE MARTIN: Oh. Well, then it's got to be the way over the top acting. Like you take a situation and then you just go all CRAZY and then it's funny
PETER SELLERS: No. No. That makes it less...never mind.
STEVE MARTIN: Okay okay. Maybe you should just tell me.
PETER SELLERS: How many of these have you made?
PETER SELLERS: I really have to get going. I like your stuff in the New Yorker.



MattyMatt said...

The answer to any question that starts "why would they" is always "money."

Ben said...


Pamelamama said...


Lindsay Katai said...

And then Steve Martin says, "But how will I have money to live on while I write my 3 New Yorker pieces a year? Do another Cheaper By the Dozen?" And then you punch him with a carton of eggs and Bonnie Hunt's hairbrush.

Bonnie Hunt was in those godforsaken movies, right?

Cara said...

Oh well, we'll always have "Being There." Unless...oh God. No. Forget I mentioned it.

Anonymous said...

you are a genius.

Matthew said...

Me: So you're doing another Star Trek movie, huh?

J. J. Abrams: Yup.

Me: Look, I appreciate that you thought the original ones were so exciting and original and generally brilliant that you wanted to make more, but ...

JJ: Whoa, whoa. Star Trek? Buncha fruits running around in jumpsuits--gimmie a break, bro. But dude, that franchise shits gold bricks, you know what I'm sayin'? Gonna stripmine that fucker for all its worth.

JM: But, I just figured ...

JJ: And besides, the only people who care about the old stuff are nerds and pussies, so it's all good.

Anonymous said...

Sellers allegedly hated doing the PP movies; the last few he did were to bankroll "Being There." I like the Scarlett bit, but maybe you were a little easy on her. Do I detect a crush?

Anonymous said...

This is farking brilliant!

I, too loved that 1983 team!

Anonymous said...

Martin has become the Keanu Reeves of comedy. Well addressed. Great interview on NPR.

Matthew said...

Having now seen the J. J. Abrams Star Trek, I would like to official rescind my previous comment. RESCIND!