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December 28, 2023

Steve Martin Shows His Juggling Skills on His First TV Appearance in 1968

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was an American comedy and variety show television series hosted by the Smothers Brothers and initially airing on CBS from 1967 to 1969. Here, Steve Martin shows his juggling skills on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968, his first major television appearance:

Steve Martin’s first job was at Disneyland, selling guidebooks on weekends and full-time during his school’s summer break. That lasted for three years (1955-1958). During his free time, he frequented the Main Street Magic shop, where tricks were demonstrated to patrons. While working at Disneyland, he was captured in the background of the home movie that was made into the short-subject film Disneyland Dream, incidentally becoming his first film appearance. By 1960, he had mastered several magic tricks and illusions and took a paying job at the Magic shop in Fantasyland in August. There he perfected his talents for magic, juggling, and creating balloon animals in the manner of mentor Wally Boag, frequently performing for tips.

After high school, Martin attended Santa Ana College, taking classes in drama and English poetry. In his free time, he teamed up with friend and Garden Grove High School classmate Kathy Westmoreland to participate in comedies and other productions at the Bird Cage Theatre. He joined a comedy troupe at Knott’s Berry Farm. Later, he met budding actress Stormie Sherk, and they developed comedy routines and became romantically involved. Sherk’s influence caused Martin to apply to the California State University, Long Beach, for enrollment with a major in philosophy. Sherk enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), about an hour’s drive north, and the distance eventually caused them to lead separate lives.

In 1967, Martin transferred to UCLA and switched his major to theater. While attending college, he appeared in an episode of The Dating Game, winning a date with Deana Martin. Martin began working local clubs at night, to mixed notices, and at twenty-one, he dropped out of college.


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