A., where he majored in philosophy and theater before moving on to staff-writer stints for such TV performers as Glen Campbell, the Smothers Brothers, Dick Van Dyke, John Denver, and Sonny & Cher.
Comedians of such ilk were common in this market, however, so Martin carefully developed a brand-new persona: the well-groomed, immaculately dressed young man who goes against his appearance by behaving like a lunatic.
Michael Scott, Brick Tamland, Frank Ginsberg, and dear, dorky, unblemished Andy, they are man-children, lost boys each and every one of them, their antic, ego-driven chicanery hollowing them out like overripe melons over and over again, their all-or-nothing yearning for something – anything, really – good undermined incessantly by tantrum, foible, and self-sabotage. In truth, I was doing that other clichéd – but absolutely true and necessary thing – paying my dues. The best thing for me about studying and performing with Second City was having the freedom to fail night after night, to try things, experiment, and attempt the insane without ever being too precious about it. It takes editing to cut out all the times I’m laughing hysterically on set at Alan Arkin. More importantly, I try specifically not to laugh when someone else is doing his thing. Mark Baum is a guy who has a very strong moral compass and at the same time he is immersed in this world – big banking and finance and all that – that isn't necessarily run or ruled by moral compasses. He’s very conflicted, and that’s always a challenge to play – and, to me, a lot of fun. Still, he’s got his crusade, his impossible mission – he’s railing against these dragons in the world, the behemoth banks, the financial institutions that are, we’ve been told, “too big to fail.” In that world, I think Mark Baum feels very small and very alone, but he’s still completely driven to try to take down those banks, to do something that’s virtually insurmountable.
The brass ring, it remained largely untouched by Steve Carell’s characters. If it didn’t work, you could always try something different the next night. If you laugh and ruin someone else’s take – and they’re doing something inspired or incredibly funny – you’re a jerk. There’s a scene in when Alan’s trying to pronounce a very complicated character name inside the “Cone of Silence”, and it probably took five times longer to shoot than it should have because I couldn’t – I just couldn’t – stop laughing. Carell says of his character in "The Big Short": Mark Baum is a guy who has a very strong moral compass and at the same time he is immersed in this world – big banking and finance and all that – that isn't necessarily run or ruled by moral compasses. Adam is so smart and so passionate, and maybe that’s come out in all of his movies, but it is definitely impossible to miss when you get to know him.
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By 1975, he was the "Comic of the Hour," convulsing audiences with his feigned enthusiasm over the weakest of jokes and the most obvious of comedy props. " It was fun for a while to hear audiences shout them out even before he'd uttered them, but it wasn't long before Martin was tired of live standup and anxious to get into films. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1977) and The Muppet Movie, Martin's true screen bow was The Jerk (1979), in which, with the seriousness of Olivier, he portrayed a bumbling, self-described poor black child-turned accidental millionaire.
His entire act a devastating parody of second-rate comedians who rely on preconditioning to get laughs, Martin became internationally famous for such catch phrases as "Excu-u-use me! Had he been a lesser performer, Martin could have played variations on The Jerk for the remainder of his life, but he preferred to seek out new challenges.
And few other actors could convincingly pull off a project like Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1983), wherein, and with utter conviction, he acted opposite film clips of dead movie stars. Some of the stories recounted in that book, they are absolutely unbelievable. And then I heard from Adam that he was going to make it into a movie, and I thought to myself, “Adam Mc Kay is incredibly talented, but is there anybody on earth that could turn that book into a movie anybody in their right mind would watch? I am the type of person who is always waiting for the other shoe to drop, so I'm not taking any of what is happening now – or the things that have been happening for 15 years – for granted. ” It’s a huge story, so many elements, tricky subject matter. I know there is only a small window of time when people will say “yes” to the things I want to do, and I kind of can’t believe that window hasn’t slammed shut on my hands yet. I won’t ever let the professional stuff bleed over too much into my family life. There are different kinds of relationships across the miles and they require different things. Wonderful at your friend's wedding in Wisconsin – and you live in Biloxi. Wonderful you've been dating for five months in Biloxi gets sent to Chicago for a six-month assignment.Or, worse yet, his dream job moves there permanently and you don't want to choose between your own dream job (still in Biloxi) and your dreamy boyfriend. You and Wedding Wonderboy are getting to know one another across the miles, while the relocations take away a known quantity.