Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Fishing in the Discount Bin - The Jerk

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  You know the premise by now, I watch a movie I own and blog about it.  Today, I'm watching the classic Steve Martin comedy The Jerk.  This is in my notes at June 30, 2019.

As I've blogged before, there occasionally comes times when I spot a DVD on the store shelf and think to myself, "I want this."  Such is the case with my latest acquisition, The Jerk.  The legendary Steve Martin comedy from 1979.  He was one of the biggest stand-up comics in the 1970s, and with this 1979 film, he made the leap to movie star.  This was for Steve Martin what Ace Venutre was for Jim Carrey. 

I'm reluctant to say it's the first movie I saw.  I only have very fuzzy memories of seeing it.  My family saw it at the drive-in.  We had a van at the time, and Dad had put together this little bench so the back seat could be converted into a bed.  I was in my jammies.  I remember excitedly bouncing around the van.  I remember looking out at that giant screen.  I remember the opening credits.  And...that's it. 

Maybe it's a good thing I don't remember much, because it's one of those films where I really didn't get a lot of the jokes until I was much older. 

The plot is simple enough.  Steve Martin plays Navin Johnson, the dumbest man alive, as he sets out to find his way in the world.  It's pretty episodic.  We open with Johnson introducing himself as a poor black child.  Don't worry, it's made pretty obvious early on that he's adopted, and being the only white guy in a black family, he's been too dumb to figure it out.  "You mean I'm always gonna be this color?" is probably the first big laugh of the film. 

Anyway, he finally learns his rhythm when he catches some easy listening tunes on the radio, and heads to the big city to find his place.  First, he's an attendant at a gas station.  Then, he works at a carnival.  Then, he becomes rich and famous.  And then, he loses it all.  You know, that old yarn. 

I really don't know what to say about it because it really is one of those films you have to see to believe.  This is Steve Martin's time to shine, as the film just kind of progresses from one gag to the next.  And it really is still funny after all these years. 

So,  yeah.  Don't know what to say about The Jerk.  I got it.  I watched it.  I liked it. 

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