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Steve Martin on Twitter’s ‘New Form of Comedy’

Comedian Steve Martin recently visited the Culver City studios of NPR West to talk about his new book The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People. Make That Ten: The Tweets of Steve Martin. Today’s resulting “Morning Edition” interview with Renee Montagne is a fascinating discourse on the art of 140-character joke writing.

Martin explained that after joining Twitter, he and his wife became enamored by the laugh-out-loud quality of many of his followers’ responses. For example, after Martin tweeted that he was as “happy as a clam. Wait, are clams really happy?” because his LP “Rare Bird Alert” was #3 on Amazon, a follower replied, “The chilling sound of clam laughter has caused many fishermen to quit the sea.”

Martin agreed with Montagne that hordes of people are funnier on Twitter than in any other setting. The comedian quickly felt like he was swimming in a new form of comedy, a large scale comedy crowd-sourced talk-and-response rhythm never before possible.

Such an exchange occurred when Martin’s renegade CAPS LOCK key independently tweeted about a love of BOATING AND HIKING. One of @SteveMartinToGo‘s many comedic collaborators quickly replied – in lower case – “your kind is not welcome here.”

To listen to the NPR interview, click here.

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