In 1967, Steve Martin’s former girlfriend Nina Goldblatt….who was a dancer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour….helped him land a writing job with the show by submitting his work to head writer Mason Williams….who initially paid Martin out of his own pocket….when along with the other writers for the show….he won an Emmy Award in 1969 at age 23. He also wrote for John Denver, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.…whereby Martin’s first TV appearance was on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968.
During these years his roommates included comedian Gary Mule Deer and singer/guitarist Michael Johnson….Martin opened for groups such as The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band….who returned the favor by appearing in his 1980 television special All Commercials, The Carpenters and Toto….the he appeared at San Francisco’s The Boarding House, among other venues. He continued to write, earning an Emmy nomination for his work on Van Dyke and Company in 1976.
In the 1970’s, his TV appearances led to the release of comedy albums that went platinum….as the track “Excuse Me” on his first album Let’s Get Small in 1977 helped establish a national catch phrase. His next album, A Wild and Crazy Guy in 1978 was an even bigger success….after reaching the # 2 spot on the U.S. sales chart….while selling over a million copies…..as “Just a wild and crazy guy” became another of Martin’s known catch phrases. The album featured a character based on a series of Saturday Night Live sketches where Martin and Dan Aykroyd played the Festrunk Brothers…in which Yortuk and Georgi (respectively) were bumbling Czechoslovak would-be playboys. The album ends with the song “King Tut”, sung and written by Martin and backed by the “Toot Uncommon….who were members of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It was later released as a single, reaching # 17 on the U.S. charts in 1978 and selling over a million copies. The song came out during the King Tut craze that accompanied the popular traveling exhibit of the Egyptian king’s tomb artifacts. Both albums won Grammys for Best Comedy Recording in 1977 and 1978, respectively…..and Martin performed “King Tut” on the edition of April 22, 1978, of SNL…..which we have in our ImaSportsphile treasure chest of memories.