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L E’s Stories – “Another Gem Of The Baby Boomer Generation” – Martin Mull: The Overlooked Comedic Genius

Since I have posted a great deal of Martin Mull’s terrific work already here at ImaSportsphile….while considering the fact the he is truly a comedic genius…..as well as an entertainer extraordinaire …..so, when you add to “the stew” that I find Mull to be very funny….especially for someone who I knew nothing about prior to my gig here of choosing what story to write and deciding which videos to post from our 12,000+ vintage video library.  Our video library covers many generations…..with heavy emphasis on the The Greatest Generation (that Pops generation) and The Baby Boomers (that’s Bone Daddy, whose father is Pops)…..for the men of both of these generations went to war…..and were forever “touched” by the effects of having been done so…..and from my lil ole chiweenie perspective…..both of those generations gave the world tremendous comedians with rare comedic genius….but these “Kings of laughter” were also “top shelf” musicians, actors, artists, authors and more…..and dang near all of them were successful masters of at least two of those talents….just think about it, Sinatra was acting + music….Skelton was comedy + artist + actor….Steve Martin was comedy + actor + musician….Bob Hope was comedy + acting ….and the list goes on.  Today’s spotlight shines on Martin Mull…..who was a “4 Skill Talent”…..comedian, musician, actor and painter….having worked the stage of many nightclubs telling jokes and playing music….while having performed in 27 movies and on 45 different television shows from 1970 to 2020 (that’s 50 years folks)….and considering all of that talent, Martin Mull deserves his salute today.                           

Comedy – 1985 – Funniest Joke You Ever Heard Special – With Martin Mull

 

Martin Mull is an American actor and comedian….who has appeared in many television and film roles…. and is also a painter and recording artist.  As an actor, he first became known in his role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and its spin-off Fernwood 2 Night…..along with his other notable roles while playing Colonel Mustard in the 1985 film Clue….Leon Carp on Roseanne…..Willard Kraft on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch….Vlad Plasmius on Danny Phantom….and Gene Parmesan on Arrested Development  ….plus, he had a recurring role on Two and a Half Men as Russell….as the drug-using, humorous pharmacist.                                                                                                                                                                     

Comedy – 1970 To 2000 – Comedy Film Special – “The History Of White People” – Featuring Martin Mull + Mary Kay Place + Fred Willard

Mull broke into show business as a songwriter, penning Jane Morgan’s 1970 country single, A Girl Named Johnny Cash, which peaked at # 61 on Billboard’s country charts. Shortly thereafter, he began his own recording career.  Throughout the 1970’s and especially in the first half of the decade….that’s when Mull was best known as a musical comedian….while performing satirical and humorous songs both live and in studio recordings. Notable live gigs included opening for Randy Newman….as well as Sandy Denny at Boston Symphony Hall in 1973….Frank Zappa at Austin’s Armadillo World Headquarters in 1973…..Billy Joel in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1974….and for Bruce Springsteen at the Shady Grove Music Fair in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 1974. His self-titled debut Album….which was released by Capricorn in 1972….as it featured many noteworthy musicians, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Levon Helm from The Band….Keith Spring of NRBQ and Libby Titus. Elvis Costello and Gary Sperrazza attribute the remark, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture” to Martin Mull.  On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Martin Mull among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire….and that is very sad.                                                                    

Music – 1979 – Comedian Martin Mull Live In Concert – “I’ve Played Some S***holes Before But This Takes The Cake”

 

Music & Comedy – 1987 – Martin Mull Sings The Blues

 

Music & Comedy – 1987 – Martin Mull Live In Concert – Performs “The Humming Song”

 

Music – 1972 – The Glen Campbell Show – Featuring Guitar Duet Wtih Martin Mull + Glen Campbell – “It’s Just Licks Of The Records That I Learned”

Music & Comedy – 2014 – Live At The Green Room with Paul Provenza – Penn Jilette + Martin Mull Perform “Be Flexible”

 

Mull’s first well known acting role was as Garth Gimble in the 1976 television nighttime absurdist soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman….which led to work in the spin-off comedy talk shows Fernwood 2 Night in 1977….and America 2-Night in 1978…..wherein he played talk show host Barth Gimble (Garth Gimble’s twin brother), opposite Fred Willard, as sidekick Jerry Hubbard.

 

Comedy – 1977 – Fernwood 2 Night Trailer – With Martin Mull & Fred Willard

In 1979, Mull appeared in the Taxi episode Hollywood Calling…..plus he created, wrote for and starred in the short-lived 1984 CBS sitcom Domestic Life….with Megan Follows playing his teenaged daughter…. then In one episode of The Golden Girls, he played a hippie who was afraid of the outside world….after which he had a long-running role as Leon Carp, Roseanne Conner’s gay boss (and later business partner) on the TV series Roseanne.                                                                                                                                           

Comedy – 1995 – TV Comedy Roseanne Series 7 Halloween With Leon And Fred – Featuring Martin Mull

 

During the 1980’s, Mull played a supporting role in the film Mr. Mom. He also starred in a series of commercials for Michelob and Pizza Hut, and in a series of television and radio commercials for Red Roof Inn with Fred Willard. He appeared in the Pecos Bill episode of the Shelley Duvall TV series Tall Tales & Legends. He also did the voice of Vlad Masters/Vlad Plasmius, the main villain in Danny Phantom.                           

Comedy – 2005 – Two And A Half Men – Featuring Martin Mull As The Drug Using Pharmacist

 

Comedy – 2007 – Two And A Half Men – Charlie’s Fiancee Sends Him To The Pharmacy For Cold Medicine – With Martin Mull As Russell The Pharmacist

 

Comedy – 2009 – Two And A Half Men – Martin Mull As Russell The Pharmacist On Condoms

 

Mull has appeared as a guest star on the game show Hollywood Squares, appearing as the center square in the show’s final season, from 2003 to 2004. In late 2004 and in 2013’s Netflix-produced Season 4, he portrayed Gene Parmesan, a private investigator, on the TV series Arrested Development. During 2008 and 2009, Mull guest starred in two episodes of the television series Gary Unmarried, as Allison’s father.  Mull also starred in the Fox sitcom Dads, and starred in The Cool Kids along with David Alan Grier, Vicki Lawrence, and Leslie Jordan.                                                                                                                           

Comedy – 2003 To 2006 – Arrested Development TV Sitcom – The Best Of Private Detective Gene Parmesan By Martin Mull

Mull has been a painter since the 1970’s, and has work appear in group and solo exhibits. He participated in the June 15, 1971 exhibit “Flush with the Walls” in the men’s room of the Boston Museum of Art to protest the lack of contemporary and local art in the museum.  His work often combines photo-realist  painting….and the pop art and collage styles.  He published a book of some of his paintings, titled Paintings Drawings and Words, in 1995. One of his paintings was used on the cover for the 2008 Joyce Carol Oates novel My Sister, My Love Another painting, owned by Steve Martin titled After Dinner Drinks (2008), was used for the cover of Love Has Come for You, an album by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.                                                                                                                                                                  

Music – 2010 – Special – Steve Martin and Edie Brickell – Martin Mull Painting Cover Inspiration

                                                                                                                                                          

Music & Art – 1960 To 2020 – Special Video – The Artistry Of Martin Mull

 

 

 

  

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