Steve Martin bored audiences at the 92nd Street Y enough that they demanded a refund, as reported by The New York Times. The comedian was in a conversation with Deborah Solomon who has a weekly interview column at “The New York Times Magazine.” “We acknowledge that last night’s event with Steve Martin did not meet the standard of excellence that you have come to expect from 92nd St. Y,” Y’s executive director Sol Adler said in an email to the audience. “We planned for a more comprehensive discussion and we, too, were disappointed with the evening. We will be mailing you a $50 certificate for each ticket you purchased to last night’s event.”
Martin is pushing his book, “An Object of Beauty,” but the Y audience could not care less
“An Object of Beauty” became available in November of 2010. The novel, by Steve Martin, focuses on character Lacey Yeager, an art dealer who does whatever she can to push her way up the high-end art world of New York City. Martin, who has written other novels, such as “The Pleasure of My Company” and “Shop Girl,” is doing what every author interested in selling a book does, he’s promoting it. But Y audiences wanted to hear about Martin’s long career as a comedian and movie actor. It got so bad that Solomon was handed a note to ask Martin to talk about anything other than the art world and “An Object of Beauty.”
Said Solomon, “I had no idea that the Y programmers wanted me to talk to Steve instead on what it’s like to host the Oscars or appear in ‘It’s Complicated’ with Alec Baldwin. I think the Y, which is supposedly a champion of the arts, has behaved very crassly and is reinforcing the most philistine aspects of a culture that values celebrity and award shows over art.”
But some people would say, “Welcome to the real world, Solomon.”
A comedian whether he likes it or not.
Said Martin, “As for the Y’s standard of excellence, it can’t be that high because this is the second time I’ve appeared there.” It’s a hint of the sense of humor we grew to love in a Steve Martin who has decided to diversify his resume and stray away from his roots as a stand-up comedian.
“So the 92nd St. Y has determined that the course of its interviews should be dictated in real time by its audience’s emails. Artists beware,” tweeted Martin. But it’s those audiences who paid money to see Martin, $50 each, and for that they expected $50 worth of entertainment. Martin may have gotten away from stand-up comedy, but he was a comedian before he was a novelist and fans haven’t forgotten that.
Felicia R. Lee, Comedian Conversation Falls Flat at 92nd Street Y, The New York Times
Steve Martin on Twitter