Ya have to understand how huge STEVE MARTIN was!
Before him comics were schleppy little dorks who played the Catskills and Vegas.
STEVE MARTIN was, cool, before it was cool to be hot.
He took an entire audience who had paid for tix, parking,food, drinks and babysitting out to an empty swimming pool, convinced them all to jump in and then proceeded to swim lengths over top of them!
They luved it!
Pretty dam cool!
He had a BEST SELLING ALBUM!
He was the BEST TONIGHT SHOW GUEST HOST...EVER!
The BEST SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE HOST...EVER!
BOX OFFICE SMASH MOVIES!
BEST SELLING BOOK ON NEW YORKS BESTSELLER LIST!
ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!
He had the coolest CATCH PHRASES!
TWO WILD AND CRAZY GUYS!!
WELL,... EXCUSE MEEEE!
OUR GENERATION is big on CATCH PHRASES!
I don’t even know if other GENERATIONS even had CATCH PHRASES!
But ours HAD TO HAVE THEM!
And STEVE MARTIN was the KING of CATCH PHRASES!
Myself and my future Mrs Campett lived in BANFF Alberta for a year after we graduated from University.
Back then BANFF didn’t have CABLE.
So whenever STEVE MARTIN was GUEST HOSTING the TONIGHT SHOW or HOSTING SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE or better yet, BOTH,we’d fill up the ol’ Toyota Corolla with that cheap Alberta gas (apparently it was cheap cause they had oil wells and no Taxes.)throw the chains in the trunk and drive that treacherous, albeit beautiful 2 hour drive to Calgary.
We would rent a hotel room and go out to the Ol Spaghetti Factory for dinner and order a bottle of Mateus wine. ( We always order Mateus cause that’s what we had on our first date.) I pronounced it Ma-Tay-us cause it sounded cool but I think the correct pronunciation is Mat-oos)
We’d then go back to our room and watch STEVE MARTIN GUEST HOSTING the TONIGHT SHOW so we could bring a new cool CATCH PHRASE back to BANFF. Basically we rented the room for the CABLE TV.
That's how COOL STEVE MARTIN was.
Or possibly how UNCOOL myself and my future Mrs CLAMPETT were.
A couple years later we drove to California in that same TOYOTA COROLLA. It died on SUNSET BLVD. We ran outta money and had to give Plasma in East LA for food (just at about the same time my best buddy got traded to the Detroit RedWings and scored a hat trick vs the Kings a couple miles away)
But that's an entirely different Blog.
Because we had no money, our only form of entertainment was waiting in lineups for hours to watch different TV shows + game shows.
You can imagine our pure and unadulterated joy when we heard that STEVE MARTIN himself would be guest hosting the TONIGHT SHOW and we could watch him live in person!
When we told the NBC Page that we used to drive for 2 hrs in a snowstorm to rent a hotel room that had a TV with cable so we could watch STEVE MARTIN host the TONIGHT SHOW. They put us in the back row and watched us very closely.
Being in the NBC Studios watching STEVE MARTIN live was fantastic! But I still wound up watching a lot of it on the TV monitors, cause everything looks cooler on TV.
Bernadette Peters his girlfriend at the time was one of the guests.
After the show we saw STEVE MARTIN and BERNADETTE PETERS at a record shop on Hollywood blvd near where our car had broken down.
We weren’t STALKING! We didn’t even know what stalking was back then.
But I immediately grabbed his comedy album off the shelf. The one with the balloon animals on his head.
I nervously asked him to sign it.
He asked me if I’d paid for it yet. Which I hadn’t.
So I rushed over to the lineup to pay for it. There were only 4 mooks in line ahead of me but it was taking forever!
Folks were starting to notice STEVE MARTIN. I knew it was only a matter of time before he blew outta there.
I FINALLY paid for my STEVE MARTIN album and rushed over to him making sure the receipt was clearly visible.
I asked him if he would mind signing my album again.
He asked if I could take off the cellophane first.
I nervously took off the cellophane and waited for him to sign.
He asked if I had a sharpie.
Doh! I guess I thought celebrities just came equipped with their own sharpies because they luved signing autographs so much.
I whipped across the street to a variety store.
I grabbed a sharpie and wound up in line behind the same 4 mooks from the Record Store who took just as long.
And STEVE MARTINS getting set to leave!
I just threw down $20 of my hard earned blood money and bolted out the door just in time to catch STEVE MARTIN and BERNADETTE PETERS as they were leaving the record store.
I again asked if he would mind signing my album.
I handed him the sharpie but it was still in it's packaging.
What ensued was a scene right out of Larry David where the 3 of us tried to figure out how to get the sharpie out.
BERNADETTE PETERS finally figured it out and,...
STEVE MARTIN SIGNED MY ALBUM!!!
THIRTY YEARS later I was STEVE MARTIN’s STUNT DOUBLE on the PINK PANTHER reshoots in Vancouver.
They were gonna pick someone else but the STUNT COORDINATOR kindly pointed them in my direction.
I basically had 2 GAGS.
ONE- to get bit in the crotch by this HUGE ROTTWEILER!
TWO- to dive 10 feet onto French Actor JEAN RENO, miss and land flat on my face!!
I remember rehearsing for the DOG GAG. This ROTTWEILER was HUGE! And very angry!! I stood a few feet from this reject from a Stephen King movie. The Trainer would get the dog all worked up. He was snarling his teeth! He was salivating! He wanted to rip my heart out!! It was personnel with this dog! And the breath!!
When they released the hound, in addition to the abject horror I felt when he lunged towards me with those evil eyes, I felt the vice like grip of this animals jaws on my forearm! The teeth weren’t cutting through to the skin but the pressure on my ulnar and radius was incredible! It felt like the two bones were dry twigs and were about to snap!
And I was wearing this HUGE cast/protector on my arm! I wondered what would happen on the day when I only had room for a tiny little pad under my wardrobe.
We shot the DOG GAG at the YVR airport. It was pretty cool shooting a huge franchise movie like PINK PANTHER with a big star like STEVE MARTIN at a busy airport in the daytime. There was quite a BUZZ!
I felt especially cool because I was dressed like STEVE. I made more trips than usual to Craft Service that day past the hoards of on lookers and Japanese tourists.
Speaking of which, I got my classic STUNT GUY with ACTOR picture taken with STEVE that day. You're not sure how a STAR is going to react to the request. But STEVE, er, MR MARTIN was totally cool.
Later on I was a little annoyed because our wardrobe didn't totally match. I was wearing a trench coat with the huge dog protector on my forearm under my wardrobe and I couldn't get it off. But it was still a cool shot.
The moment of truth had arrived! I had to take the huge dog protector off my forearm because I wasn't doubling POPEYE.
Now if that ROTTWEILLER from Hell gets his jaws around from forearm he's gonna crush it! But I've got a plan.
The DOG DUDE is holding the dog off camera. He working him into a frenzy! It's like he's zapping his genitals with a electric prod and it's really pissing him off and he's blaming me for it!
He's growling and snarling and salivating! He wants to rip my heart out!!
DOG DUDE releases the DOG! He lunges for me! He's supposed to go for my crotch so I have to put my forearm there so he doesn't make off with the family jewels! But not too low so he'll go for my neck! Just as his vice like jaws clamp down on my forearm, I TWIST my forearm really quick! That doesn't allow him to clamp on! He rips at the sleeve of my jacket! He gets a little bit of skin but at least he doesn't crush any bones!
It looks cool!
The Japanese tourists luv it!
CUT! PRINT! MOVIN ON!
For the second GAG, French actor JEAN RENO enters the office and looks up and sees STEVE MARTIN as CLOUSEAU diving on him from up above. Of course he misses him and smashes onto the floor!
They shot the same GAG in France using a stunt guy on a descender. But it looked like a stunt guy on a descender!
We rehearsed the same GAG. But it looked like a stunt guy on a descender.
A Descender's when you put a stunt guy on a wire, let him fall free and then at the last instant you stop him just a split second before he hits the ground so he doesn't get killed.
JEAN RENO, French actor dude enters room. He looks up. I dive on a wire. I miss him and land on the floor!
Problem is, it still looks like a stunt guy on a wire.
I saw the DIRECTOR talking to the STUNT COORDINATOR. I knew what was comin.
They wanted me to do it for real! They literally wanted me to dive off the 12 foot ladder and do a face plant onto the floor.
They were thinking of using a dummy. But why bother when you already have one.
My concern was, other than doing a 12 ' face plant on the floor, the timing. There's nothing a Stunt Guy fears more than having to trust an actor. If the actor enters the room and looks up, I gotta go! If he fakes me out, I face plant for nothing and I really only wanna do this GAG once!
So I climb up to the top of the 12 ' ladder without a wire.
JEAN RENO the French actor enters the room. He looks up, I leap. I go totally horizontal. I had to totally commit to this. If I go in head first I could snap my back! And I couldn't go in feet first cause that would be too lame. I wanted the first point of contact to be my legs then slam down on my forearms!
I slammed onto the floor!!
Nailed it! The JEAN RENO was great! He didn't fake me out!
CUT! PRINT! MOVIN ON!
Kinda got the wind knocked outta me. But otherwise, OK. No clavicle sticking out through the skin or anything like that.
The DIRECTOR rushed over to see if I was ok. A good sign! He stomped on the floor thinking it was foam rubber but it wasn't. He lifted the rug looking for the huge soft pad that wasn't there! He was very happy. He kept saying it looked like a guy actually flying through the air and face planting on the floor. Cause it actually was a guy flying through the air and face planting on the floor!
This was one of the hottest DIRECTORS around, a kid from Montreal. He luved it so much he let me read for the part of a Caveman who gets set on fire on NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. But I guess he didn't luv it enough to actually cast me.
You know you've hit the ground hard when you see a bunch of Stunt Guys checking the floor for pads and looking at you like you're a crazy person.
They actually wound up using that GAG in the Trailor for the movie! It was cool watching it on TV and in the movie theatre, watching the audience wincing when I hit the ground.
I did have one more gravy day left. Steve Martin was entertaining the troops by playing the banjo between setups.
The moment of truth had arrived.
The moment I had waited 30 years for.
I had brought my old STEVE MARTIN album. The one he had signed in LA, 30 years ago.
He looked up. I showed him the album with his signature on it.
I then smiled and said that yes,
I had PAID FOR IT,
AND, I had taken the CELLOPHANE OFF,
AND, I've taken the SHARPIE OUT OF THE PACKAGE
He looked at me like I was a total idiot. He didn't know what the hell I was talking about.
Like there was even a hope in hell that he could have possibly remembered some dope stalking him 30 years ago!!
But it's something I will never forget.
I took a deep breath.
I handed him the album and sharpie and I asked him if he would mind signing it again like he had 30 years ago.
He looked up at me and said...
He was serious.
The ASSHOLE wouldn't sign it!!!
I was so pissed! I SNAPPED!!!
What about the DEMON DOG that almost ripped my heart out!!?
What about the cartilage in my nose being driven up into my brain when I face planted onto that titanium floor!!?
What about having to wear that stupid looking and very itchy Clouseau mustache!!?
All that so that this chump could go on and make another 10 million on another movie being carried on the backs of us po' below the line folks.
I would have taken a bullet for him!!
All I want is a signature!
All I want is a little name scribbled on an album cover!
Is that too much to ask?!!
And I can't get any cooperation because he's,
THE BACK STAGE CREW!???
We then did a banjo duet together, cause, we're two...
WILD AND CRAZY GUYS!!!!!
(Next Week- CABIN IN THE WOODS, PA BUCKNER. CREEPIEST GAG EVER!!!!!!!!)