For a man who spent the bulk of the 1970s standing on stages all by himself, Steve Martin has a remarkable track record with collaboration in Hollywood. From his first TV writing gig to his Grammy-winning musical pair-ups, here’s a look at some of Martin’s most fruitful creative partnerships. (Read THR’s cover story on Steve Martin here.)
The late comic and writer (right), who’d go on to create the Super Dave Osborne persona, shared a windowless office with Martin while the two wrote for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968. Sharing an Emmy win for writing on the show, they would work together again on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.
One of Martin’s mentors, the Hollywood legend helped the comic make the transition from stand-up to leading man. They had lunch together almost daily in the early 1980s, as Reiner (right) directed Martin in The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid and The Man With Two Brains, Martin’s first three screenplays.
Though they met (via Lorne Michaels) earlier in the 1980s, Short (right) and Martin’s friendship began in earnest on the set of 1986’s Three Amigos! They’d later share the screen again in Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II, launch four comedy tours and co-star on Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building.
The famed American singer-songwriter paired up with Martin (and his banjo) for two bluegrass albums: 2013’s Love Has Come for You, whose title track won a Grammy for best American roots song and 2015 follow-up So Familiar. Their stage musical, Bright Star, earned five Tony nominations and a Drama Desk Award.
STEEP CANYON RANGERS
Martin first teamed up with his other major musical partners, Asheville, North Carolina-based band Steep Canyon Rangers, in 2008. Their first two albums together, 2009’s The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo and 2011’s Rare Bird Alert, feature guest vocals from Dolly Parton, The Chicks and Paul McCartney.
Fey coaxed Martin into his first scripted TV cameo in a 2008 episode of 30 Rock, which earned him an Emmy nomination. He appeared in Fey’s 2008 film Baby Mama, kicked off her 2010 ceremony for winning the Mark Twain Prize and counts her among Only Murders in the Building’s growing roster of recurring players.
The renowned illustrator and New Yorker cartoon veteran frequently collaborates with Martin on his work for the magazine. After partnering on a book of cartoons, 2020’s A Wealth of Pigeons: A Cartoon Collection, they have reunited for Martin’s upcoming memoir of sorts, Number One Is Walking: My Life in the Movies and Other Diversions (due out Nov. 15).
This story first appeared in the Aug. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.