Hilarious Steve Martin stand-up routine on ‘Tonight Show’ in 1972

Steve Martin and Johnny Carson

‘The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson’ welcomed Steve Martin back just a few weeks after he performed as a comedic magician. Johnny introduces him and references his previous failed comedy magic attempt, saying, ‘As a result of that appearance, he has given up magic!’

Steve Martin

Steve Martin comes out to applause, and he keeps saying ‘Thank you!’ even after the audience stops clapping. He says, ‘I’m going to open right up and do an impression of the incredible shrinking man. Close your eyes. I’ll tell you when to open them.’ Steve lifts up the microphone stand really high, and tells the audience to open their eyes. They all laugh hysterically.

Then, Steve comments on how lucky we all are to have our mouth where it is. He says, ‘Imagine a bunch of people sitting in a restaurant,’ and then he makes a motion of people feeding their armpits!

Steve Martin on 'The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson'

Steve offers a solution to the population explosion. He suggests the death penalty for parking violations. The audience cracks up. He tells them that muggers don’t like to rob you if you think you’re crazy.

Steve says, ‘Let’s say you have ten dollars and you want to safely walk down the street.’ He recommends they wet their pants and light their tie on fire. Steve says, ‘If you don’t want to do all that, the moment you are being robbed, throw up on your money!’

Steve Martin and Johnny Carson

After the routine, Steve sits down with Johnny, who says, ‘You have a very perverse, abstract sense of humor! Were you funny in school?’ Steve tells him he doesn’t know.

Johnny continues, saying, ‘We all started by making sounds and faces.’ Steve tells Johnny how hard he’s worked on doing sound effects. Then, he tells a story and stops 4 times, making the same exact sound effect at each stop. The audience laughs, and Steve says, ‘I can do any sound!’ Johnny shows Steve how he can cluck like a chicken, and the two comedians laugh at each other’s sense of humor.

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