Sounds to me Steve Martin was going dry trying to interview Richard Pryor on The Tonight Show. And what I mean by that for all of you who just speak English, is that Martin was struggling to think of stuff to ask Big Richard (ha ha) and was having to go off the top of his head. And apparently not having much upstairs to pick from to talk to Pryor about. With Pryor doing the best with what Martin would eventually find to talk to Pryor about. This interview to me is sort of like a blind date involving two people who basically have nothing in common. Perhaps their friends put them together as a practical joke.
Which is strange to me because Steve Martin is obviously not just a very funny man and great comedian, but a very bright guy. Otherwise he wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to fill in for the great Johnny Carson. But this interview to me looks like a couple of complete strangers being forced together and forced to talk to each other like their life depended on it. And they basically get down to “nice weather we’re having. Yeah the weather tends to be nice around here in May. What’s you favorite color? I had a cold recently, but it wasn’t that bad”.
But being the two great professionals that they were despite Steve Martin’s lack of preparation and homework, (ha ha) I think they did pretty well together, despite the lack of and material and topics they had to work with. Because of Steve Martin not knowing what he was doing in that big chair and perhaps not understanding what the job of the comedic interviewer was. Perhaps The Tonight Show Staff didn’t give him the memo, or Steve’s dog ate his homework.
Wayne Barros: Classic Richard Pryor & Steve Martin