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Monday, October 24, 2005



Yesterday I had the luck to score some tickets to the Mark Twain Prize ceremony at the Kennedy Center. The honoree this year was Steve Martin - I love that man. I love his droll and absurd comic sensibility, and how good he is at physical comedy - I was inspired to bring more of both into my work as an improviser (that sounded really pretentious, but I take improv classes and am in a group that's rehearsing for a performance in January or February - so I can call myself an improviser and not just an improv student, right? - this reminds me of how people feel like they can't say they're a writer unless they've been published...but if you write, then you're a writer...right? - but I digress...)

I'm late for work so I can't write much, but let me just say that I am not above being awed by star power, and it was thrilling and bizarre to be all of 10 feet from Paul Simon, Martin Short, Larry David, Diane Keaton - who, by the way, was wearing a skirt that I will never forget, red plaid with tons of crinolin underneath, giving it the coolest shape... I love that woman's style. Instead of following suit with other performers there to pay Martin tribute, who tended either towards a roast or humorous toast, she surprised the crowd by delivering a spare rendition of "The Way You Look Tonight" that was sweet and simple and sincere.

Others who were there to pay tribute: Queen Latifah (who looked beautiful, and joked about her sex scene with Martin in "Bringing Down the House"); Claire Danes (who confessed she used to have a crush on Martin); Eric Idle (who gave a hilarious reading of Martin's New Yorker essay, "Side Effects"); Lorne Michaels (who joked that he was more comfortable as the honoree - he won the award last year); Carl Reiner (who directed Martin's first 4 films, I believe); and Lily Tomlin (who showed a hilarious clip from the movie All of Me, in which her character inhabits Martin's body).

Larry David and Martin Short were my favorites by far - David's schtick was that he was surprised to be invited since he has a tendency to ruin things, and he proceeded to tell a series of hilarious stories painting Martin as a bum-hating, cat-hating, anti-semitic, egomaniacal oaf (with David, of course, as the earnest and offended friend)...after each tale he'd say, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't be telling you this." Hysterical. And Short just gave a classic roast, compliments ending with insults - I can't remember any specific lines but honestly he was in a league of his own in terms of comic timing and delivery.

I am now officially late for work. In closing: Tom Hanks was there, and he had long hair. I kid you not.

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