I love Steve Martin.
I think he is the funniest person alive.
-Side Note: George Carlin is the funniest man ever and Howard Stern is right behind Martin.
I recently picked up a couple Steve Martin movies for my LaserDisc collection and I noticed something I had never really thought about when it came to his movies.
Yes, Navin Johnson was born a poor black child. That’s a funny joke; in 1979 and now. At one point though he is walking with some hired help who says they “will keep the N****** out” and Martin respond that he is in fact a “”N******”.
The joke here is that Navin is so simple he doesn’t understand he is not black even after being confronted with the issue at the beginning of the film. I do not think in anyway this is a bad racist joke. Is it a joke about race, yes, so I wonder if a white man can say that word in a joking manner in this day and age.
What struck me as more bizarre was the joke in Leap of Faith. You can see in the second clip where Martin responds to the waitress that he would like “a KKK omelette. Whites only.” He character is obviously making a joke and he laughs with a black lady friend of his.
It was still kind of in bad taste.
I just find it interesting that intention has always been the big thing when it comes to jokes for me. I enjoy the likes of Lenny Bruce and the freedom of the comedy stage but it still rubbed me the wrong way.
Steve Martin is far too intelligent to be racist on any level so I refuse to think this comes from a bad place.
It’s just a “different time” man.