King of Comedy
"I was not naturally talented," he recalled later in his career. "I didn't sing, dance or act, though working around that minor detail made me inventive." In fact, from his earliest appearances on "The Tonight Show" and "Saturday Night Live" in the 1970s, Steve Martin became known as the smartest, most inventive comedian of his generation. Here, as the legendary stand-up comic, writer, producer and movie star turns 73, is a sampling of his classic one-liners.
On Judging Others
"Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and have his shoes."
On His Main Ambition
"All I've ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work."
There's Good News and Bad News
"First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me."
On Caring for His Pet
"I gave my cat a bath the other day... They love it. He sat there, he enjoyed it, it was fun for me. The fur would stick to my tongue, but other than that..."
Food for Thought
"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."
"We've had some fun tonight ... considering we're all gonna die someday."
A Wild And Crazy Guy's Credo
"I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy."
On French Culture
"Boy, those French—they have a different word for everything!"
Remembering Rule No. 1
"I've got to keep breathing. It'll be my worst business mistake if I don't."
On His Fellow Man
"I believe in equality—equality for everybody, no mater how stupid they are or how superior I am to them."
On the Kind of Women He Admires
"I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks."
"I believe you should place a woman on a pedestal—high enough so you can look up her dress.
On What Makes a Star
"A celebrity is anyone who looks like he spends more than two hours working on his hair."
On His Personal Beliefs
"I guess I wouldn't believe in anything anymore if it weren't for my lucky astrology mood watch."
On a Movie Title That Puzzled Him
"I saw the movie 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' and was surprised because I didn't see any tigers or dragons. And then I realized why: They're crouching and hidden."
On His Instrument of Choice
"The banjo is such a happy instrument--you can't play a sad song on the banjo - it always comes out so cheerful."
On How He Made It
"Thankfully, persistence is a great substitute for talent."
On Writing Screenplays
"I handed in a script last year and the studio didn't change one word. The word they didn't change was on page 87."
"Some people have a way with words, and other people … uh, not have a way."
"I finally realized what a comic genius is. A comic genius is someone who decides never to go into comedy."
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