|Famous For: Planes, Trains and Automobiles, The Jerk, Cheaper by the Dozen||Currently Known For: Actor, comedian, writer, producer and musician|
Currently Known For Actor, comedian, writer, producer and musician
"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture." A man of many talents, Steve Martin has been one of America’s favorite comedians for decades now in what has to be one of the most impressive careers in comedic history. Martin grew up in southern California where he started working at Disneyland as a high schooler where he took a keen interest in entertainment through magic. He would make his money by performing tricks at one of the most famous theme parks in the world, a job that just about any teenager would love to have.
From there, Martin went to Santa Ana College where he focused on taking drama classes, and would then end up at California State University, Long Beach. While there, Martin had hoped to earn his degree in philosophy, excelling in his classes and it made him think about changing his career path. He had become less interested in performing and instead wanted to be a college professor.
In a 1982 interview with Rolling Stone, Martin said that College totally changed my life. It changed what I believe and what I think about everything. I majored in philosophy. Something about non sequiturs appealed to me. In philosophy I started studying logic, and they were talking about cause and effect, and you start to realize, ‘Hey, there is no cause and effect! There is no logic. There is no anything!’ Then it gets real easy to write this stuff, because all you have to do is twist everything hard – you twist the punch line, you twist the non sequitur so hard away from the thing that set it up, that it's easy . . . and it's thrilling.”
However, Martin wouldn’t have dreams of becoming a professor for very long. “Then I thought, ‘I can’t give up show business,’” he said. “I’d studied philosophy and realized the only true value was accomplishment.” With that, he changed his major and transferred over to the University of California Los Angeles to try and obtain a theater degree. However, he would end up dropping out of college as he landed a job as a writer for “The SMothers Brothers Comedy Hour”.
After getting his start as a writer, Martin would try to hone his craft as a stand-up comedian. He would appear in many different venues over the next decade, and landed appearances on shows such as “The Tonight Show” and was a frequent host of “Saturday Night Live” that helped the show boost its ratings.
Martin had become a household name thanks to the success of his comedy routine and television appearances, though he decided to leave the stand-up comedy scene in the early 1980s so that he could focus on making movies. With that, Martin was able to land starring roles in films such as “The Jerk” and “The Man with Two Brains”.
Not only has Martin proved to be a successful actor and comedian, but he’s also had a successful career in music. Though you probably won’t hear him on your local radio station, it’s because Martin’s music has focused on bluegrass. Martin is an avid banjo player, and he’s won three different Grammy Awards for his bluegrass music in addition to two more Grammy wins for his comedy albums.
Martin has released several different bluegrass albums in the past decade, with all of them reaching number one on the US Bluegrass charts. One of them, 2013’s “Love Has Come For You” even reached number 21 on the mainstream charts. Crossing over into music is no easy feat for anybody, and trying to make it big in more of a niche type of music is even more difficult.
Over the years, Martin has starred in a lot of blockbuster comedy films that have included “The Pink Panther”, “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “Three Amigos” just to name a few. He’s certainly a renaissance man who’s very intelligent, and you can also add member of Mensa to that list. In 1997, he wrote an article for The New Yorker that detailed his comedic story about he became a member of the intellectual society that only takes the top two percent of people in terms of IQ.
With that, it’s suggested that Martin carries an estimated IQ of 135. That would place him on the borderline of the “gifted” and “highly gifted” categories, and it’s easy to see why. A man that’s based his career around many different talents and has always had a knack for philosophy simply exudes intelligence, especially when you’ve been doing it for as long as Martin has.
Martin has been able to portray some interesting characters that don’t seem to have a very high intelligence, but Martin himself is a very smart man. We don’t see him in too many films these days outside of vocal work, with the occasional appearance on television. These days, Martin is more focused on his music as it makes him happiest, and it’s just another example of his success.