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Steve Martin Finds Comedy Inspiration in Twitter Universe

Comedian Steve Martin stopped by NPR’s Morning Edition program last week to talk about his latest book The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits Of Very Organized People. Make That Ten., inspired by his Twitter feed. Martin did not join the Twitter universe until 2010, when friend Tom Hanks encouraged him to try tweeting for promotional purposes. “…I thought, well that’s interesting, because I was growing frustrated that when you do a movie or a record, that you have to promote it. I was going on television [and] playing to an audience of 4 million, for example, and maybe only 400 of them were interested in my so-called product. And I thought if I had a Twitter feed and say I had a following of a 100,000, that means 100,000 of them would be interested in my book,” the funny man explained.

“It was logical, but it didn’t turn out to be true. It turned out if I had a Twitter feed of a 100,000, four of them were interested in my book. So, tweeting is really only good for one thing — it’s just good for tweeting … It is rewarding, because it’s just its own reward. It’s sort of like heaven.”

Martin soon found Twitter to be a gold mine for new comedy ideas, and truly enjoyed the candid responses that his millions of followers gave to his jokes. “When people started responding, I found they were really writing well. … I was promoting my album Rare Bird Alert, and I tweeted: ‘Rare Bird Alert number three on Amazon. I’m happy as a clam. Wait — are clams really happy?’ And a responder said, ‘The chilling sound of clam laughter has caused many fishermen to quit the sea.’ … I felt like I was looking at kind of a new form of comedy, in a strange way, that was talking and response and talking and response.”

The new book features some of Martin’s most popular Twitter comedy riffs on topics ranging from jury duty to holiday song lyrics, as well as the clever responses by some of his Twitter followers. “I’ve always believed that there are funny people everywhere, but they’re just not comedians. In fact, some of my best comedic inspirations were not professional entertainers…These things appear on people’s phones in the middle of the day. It’s not like people are gathered in a hall and they’re expecting something funny. You know, talk about the unexpected,” Martin concluded.

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  1. April 21st, 2012 at 04:58 | #1

    Twitter is the future of comedy quotes :). Steve Martin – best comedian ever. Five best films for me, are:

    Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)
    Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
    Sgt. Bilko (1996)
    Bowfinger (1999)

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