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The Jerk (It Came from the Bargain Bin)


Welcome to this week’s installment of “It Came from the Bargain Bin!”

Believe it or not, at one time, Steve Martin was a comedian. Steve Martin began his career as a writer for the popular variety comedy show known as the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the sixties and he went on to perform for the man who once ruled the world known as Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show in the glorious seventies. Well, as the comedy world knows, that if you were a hit on the Carson hosted Tonight Show than you were all set and Steve Martin went on to prove that this belief was indeed true. Mr. Martin went on to be a fan favorite on Saturday Night Live and make movies that were not only hilarious but original as well, which leads us to this week’s selection, “The Jerk.” The Jerk was not only ridiculous but it was funny beyond expectations. So, without any further ado, lets get to a comedy starring the once was super comedian, Steve Martin………..

The Jerk











Starring: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, and Catlin Adams
Writers: Steve Martin and Carl Gottlieb
Director: Carl Reiner

Meet Navin. Navin was a white child adopted by a poor black family in Mississippi. On one fateful night after celebrating his 18th birthday with his favorite meal, “tuna-fish salad on white bread with mayonnaise, a Tab, and a couple o’ Twinkies”, Navin is informed by his momma (Mabel King) that he is not black and that he was adopted. Momma lets Navin know that she would love him even if he were “the color of a Baboons ass.” Later that evening, Navin, while listening to a St.Louis, Missouri radio show discovers that he DOES have rhythm, albeit “white rhythm” and Navin decides that it is time to leave the family that raised him and head to the great city of St. Louis. Finally, after standing outside his beloved family’s shack for many hours, Navin finally gets a ride, and another ride, that leads to misadventures while on the road.

After many mishaps, while working at a gas station under the supervision of Harry Hartounian (Jackie Mason), Navin discovers that HIS name IS listed in the new phonebook proving that Navin IS somebody! While under the watchful eye of his executor (M. Emmett Walsh) who chooses Navin’s name at random from the new phonebook, Navin meets Stan Fox (Bill Macy) whose glasses don’t seem to fit him due to slippage. Little does Navin know that his fateful encounter with Mr. Fox will soon change Navin’s life. After escaping from his executioner, Navin ends up as a “Carny” who learns more about life and business from Carnival Director “Frosty” (Dick O’Neill). Soon, after losing his virginity to a female stunt biker known as “Patty” (Catlin Adams) who, as he wrote to his loving, adoptive family, “promised me a blow-job”, Navin meets the love of his life, “Marie” (Bernadette Peters) after saving the child that Marie is babysitting. Navin quickly falls in love with Marie and leaves the roughian, Patty, for good.

Soon after leaving the carnival with his new love Marie, Navin invents a pair of glasses that do not slide off your nose and he becomes incredibly successful and rich beyond his wildest dreams. Unfortunately, for Navin, his success backfires and he is forced to deal with yet another failure. How does Navin deal with his failure? Does he succeed or does he crawl back to his adoptive family? Watch The Jerk and see. You won’t regret it.

The Jerk is a comedy that will always be on my top ten comedy movies list. The Jerk is not only belly achingly funny but it is a wildly original film that reminds me of a time when Steve Martin was one of the world’s funniest comedians and not a Grammy winning Bluegrass musician. I give The Jerk 2 and 1/2 “wild and crazy guys” due to originality and hilarity. If you haven’t seen The Jerk than you are missing out and you should check it out ASAP. See you next week with another review from “It Came from the Bargain Bin!”



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Adam June 30, 2013, 8:13 am

    Nice review, JoJo, it has been years since I have given this one a watch and you have inspired me to watch this one again.

    I recently re-watched Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and had almost forgotten how funny he was. He has certainly taken on less roles of this type and focused more on banjo lately, but what the hell he earned it. Besides he is probably a little busy with his 41 year-old wife and becoming a first time dad at 67.

    • Joe July 2, 2013, 2:40 am

      Thanks, Adam.
      Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a hilarious movie and arguably one of Martin’s funniest as well. I agree that he has earned the right to perform Bluegrass rather than do the comedy thing, especially since he probably could not top his earlier comedic roles so why not move on, right. As far as being a first time Dad at 67 and having a 41 year old wife you cannot help but hurt for him and be happy for him at the same time:) Thanks for the response, Adam, and have a great week.

  • Sammy June 30, 2013, 2:35 pm

    This is one of my favorite Steve Martin movies and in my top list for comedy movies! Can’t believe it was from the bargain bin!!

    • Joe July 2, 2013, 2:43 am

      Hey Sammy,
      I actually found this at Target and it’s part of a compilation DVD that includes The Blues Brothers, Animal House, and Car Wash (last week’s review from The Bin) as well for only 10 bucks. Tough to pass up that deal. Thanks for the post, Sammy, and have a great week.

      • Sammy July 2, 2013, 9:18 am

        To quote Phil Rizzuto…”HOLY COW!!!”

        That is an amazing package deal for some classic movies! You made out like a bandit Joe!!

  • Nick June 30, 2013, 7:16 pm

    Martin is a national treasure that belongs in a museum. The Jerk is always the film I look back on as the one that started it all. I f**king love this movie. What bargain bin did you get it in!? lol It’s on my top 10 as well! (or close lol)

    • Joe July 2, 2013, 2:47 am

      Hey Nick,
      I actually found The Jerk at Target and it is part of a compilation DVD that includes Car Wash, The Blues Brothers, and Animal House, all for ten bucks. It’s definitely worth a ride to your local department store if you are a Martin fan and it looks like you are a big Martin fan. Thanks for your response and have a great week.

  • Rodney June 30, 2013, 8:20 pm

    Steve Martin isn’t one of my favourite comedians, but your review of this film has made me want to go check it out. Nice work….. Why can’t comedies be as funny nowadays as they were back then?

    • Joe July 2, 2013, 2:54 am

      Hey Rodney,
      I can understand that Martin may not be your favorite comedian but I am very happy that I have helped influence you to check out The Jerk because I feel that this is absolutely a must see comedy. I wish that I knew why comedies aren’t as funny as they once were but I’m sure that there are many people out there that would find your statement debatable…….but that’s part of the fun of posing such questions sometimes isn’t it.

  • Tim The Film Guy July 1, 2013, 8:08 am

    Love this film, fun review guys :D

  • Joe July 2, 2013, 2:54 am

    Thanks, Tim! Always nice to hear from you.

  • Mark Walker July 3, 2013, 11:10 am

    Great stuff, man. “How far you going?” – “To the end of this fence” LOL

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