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Pair of Martins still cracking up crowds — and each other; To perform Friday at SPAC

Pair of Martins still cracking up crowds — and each other; To perform Friday at SPAC

Comedy legends combine talents on 'Now You See Them, Soon You Won't' tour
Pair of Martins still cracking up crowds — and each other; To perform Friday at SPAC
Steve Martin and Martin Short are at SPAC on Friday.
Photographer: photo provided

Steve Martin and Martin Short, two comedy class acts, are slated to perform at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Friday.

They’re on tour with their latest show, “Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t,” following “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” which was nominated for four Emmy Awards. 

The two have novella-length resumes and have been friends for more than 30 years since starring in “Three Amigos” in 1986.

“My first impression of Martin was that he was really, really funny. That was very appealing to me,” Martin said during a recent interview with The Gazette and Martin Short.  

“When I first met Steve, I went to his house and I thought ‘Boy, he’s really, really rich. I want to have dinner with him so he can pick up the tab,’ ” Short shot back. 

Their banter and friendship continued well after the filming of “Amigos.” Though they worked on a few projects together (they both acted in “Father of the Bride”), they mostly went their own ways. 

Martin starred in films such as “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “The Pink Panther,” among others, while Short starred in “Three Fugitives” and “Santa Clause 3.”   

But it wasn’t until just a few years ago that they put their comedy shows together. 

“When we first started, we both had acts. [Martin] had a one-hour or more show that he did on his own and I had a music show that I did with a band, along with some comedy. We started blending those two distinct shows and then we worked on material from things we did together,” Martin said. 

Their style of humor is as joyous as it is dark, and they cover topics ranging from the fickleness of Hollywood to memories of their first acting gigs.

They’re quick-witted, often playing jokes off of and about each other; they work to make each other laugh as much, if not harder than, the audience. 

“The idea of the show generally, for the section of the show where we’re sitting and telling stories, is to make it as loose as possible. So [you can] imagine having dinner with us. Obviously, things change from night to night, but we have an ongoing [33-year] banter of making each other laugh, so we just continue that onstage,” Short said. 

For those who have seen the Netflix special “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” the material for Friday’s show will be 80% different, though they’ll still blend music and comedy. 

Martin has become known for his banjo playing over the past few years and brings that to the stage.

“We travel with the band and I play with them. We’ll do funny songs together. It’s a real variety show,” Martin said. 

It’s one they’re working on constantly. 

“We’ll analyze new material. … Sometimes we start talking as soon as we get offstage, [saying] ‘Well, we’ll cut that bit,’ ” Martin said. 

Whenever they’re taking a break from touring, they’ll work on the act over the phone. They delve into their past in show business, as well as their childhoods, and spend much of the show ribbing each other.  

“In the ‘80s, I think I once tried to snort [Steve] he was so pale,” Short said.

“By the way, Martin Short is the name I use when I check into a hotel and want to be anonymous,” Martin said in “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life.”   

They try to keep things mostly personal rather than political. 

“We try to stay away from it. We feel the audience gets that every night on the late shows. Why should they pay to hear us do it?” Martin said, adding “Our goal is to have the audience leave and say ‘that was the funniest show I ever saw,’ and that’s what we try to deliver every night.”

Steve Martin & Martin Short

FEATURING: The Steep Canyon Rangers and Jeff Babko

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday 

WHERE: SPAC

TICKETS: $55-$175

MORE INFO: spac.org

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