Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Dance Party: Wild and Crazy Tapper

I'm a sucker for tap dancing. I delude myself into thinking I might have been a fair one, had I started early enough. I did a bit of it as the Emcee in Cabaret, but I failed to redeem myself for the terrible mess I made of George M several years earlier. I was horrendous in the role, though I didn't think my tapping was too bad, considering I had never had a lesson.

In honor of this week's Dance Party, I yield my tap shoes to Steve Martin, who is pretty impressive in this clip. Martin is one of the elder statesmen of comedy these days, as well as being a respected playwright (and a crackerjack juggler and Oscar host).

In the midst of his career, he was known for his absurdist stand-up routines, his hosting of Saturday Night Live, and even his recordings: he cracked Billboard's Top Twenty with his novelty song, "King Tut." But he was best known for his physical shtick; his film performances usually showcased his superb physical talents (take a look at All of Me). I maintain that the great physical comedians are also swell dancers; the two techniques are more related than you might think. And Martin capitalized on his natural physical grace in this clip (in it, he admits to having only started dancing about 8 months earlier).

This sequence takes a bit to get going, but around the 2 minute mark, watch out.

Steve Martin turns 64 years old today.