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………..
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!”