Steve Martin and Martin Short are currently on a comedy tour together, and they have explained that they intentionally keep jokes on politics and President Donald Trump out of their acts.
“Before the election, we did a lot of Trump material, a lot of political material, and it was fine,” Martin told IndieWire. “After the election, you started to hear comments from the audience, whether it was a yay or a boo, and we said, ‘We don’t want that. We’re not here to preach.’
“So we started limiting the divisive political material from the act because you get that on late-night TV. It’s not something you want to pay (for). We’re just trying to be funny.”
Short agreed with Martin, explaining to the Los Angeles Times that they have an audience that is “filled with people of all political beliefs,” and that they don’t want anyone in their audience to feel bad for what or who they support.
Martin also added, “I don’t want to preach or teach or anything like that. I want to kind of humorously stimulate by turning a phrase or getting a laugh.”
Short and Maritn are trying not to show any political bias in their show, and try to switch it up even when Short plays fictional interviewer Jiminy Glick, as the Washington Examiner reported.
“When it comes to politics, you don’t want to make half the audience feel like they’re inappropriate,” Short said. “So even when we’re doing Jiminy Glick, we try to go back and forth.”
The comedic duo both agree that the agenda of their show is not to offend those who watch it, and “to push an envelope at this stage of our lives would seem so desperate.”
“For me, it’s not my forte,” Martin said. “I’m not known as a political comedian for a reason — I actually made a choice a long, long time ago. I just feel it takes the audience out of the show a little bit.”
They were also asked about how other comedians have stated that political correctness, especially on college campuses, makes it hard for comedians to perform well.
“I totally understand what they’re saying and I think there is oversensitivity and an overreaction a lot of the time,” Short said.
“But it doesn’t play into our shows too much, because our agenda is more of a joyful thing as opposed to going after somebody. We’re not social satirists. We’re more clowns.”
Martin added, “You can’t tell an audience how to respond. If 20 percent of the audience is offended by something that you’re doing that you believe in, well, (you) really shouldn’t be performing for that audience.”
Martin and Short’s tour is called “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life” and includes “stand-up humor, music, fake ventriloquism, goofy childhood photos and a human bagpipe,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
They will be touring for the rest of 2018 across the United States as well as Canada.
The comedic duo also has a Netflix special based off of their tour, which is nominated for three Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded), Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special and Outstanding Original Music & Lyrics for “The Buddy Song” (written by Steve Martin).
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