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The Wild and Crazy Banjo

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Since releasing his first bluegrass album three years ago, actor and comedian Steve Martin has earned critical acclaim – and a Grammy – for his skills with the banjo. Now, he’s exploring the history of the instrument, and issues of race, class and musical innovation, in a new PBS documentary called “Give Me the Banjo.” Martin joins us in studio (with a banjo on his knee).

"Give Me the Banjo" airs tomorrow night, Nov. 4, at 9 p.m. ET on PBS stations.


Steve Martin

Comments [8]

Jim from Adelaide, South Australia

Reminds me of the classic Ogilvie advert with the headline; 'They Laughed When I Sat Down at The Piano'. You think Steve Martin is joking about his interest and love of the banjo, but when he plays and talks about it you know the man is no fool, and is as good an instrumentalist as he is a comedian and actor. Congratulations, Steve.

Dec. 03 2011 07:29 PM

@ tom so, i guess we live in a post racial artsy fartsy world, where racism exists on an island,and bantering about the banjo,exits in some hermetically sealed, sanitized antiseptic world....geesuz my foot..

Nov. 03 2011 07:58 PM

Talk of the banjo and talk about the racism???

That's like saying we need to talk of religious intolerance when discussing the Pipe Organs
used in cathedrals, etc...!


Nov. 03 2011 04:57 PM


Nov. 03 2011 02:29 PM
Felicity Faulkner from New York

'Don't let your heel go down'. I think that means 'stay on your toes'.

Nov. 03 2011 02:29 PM
Ginger from Bronx, NY

Mr. Martin:

I had the pleasure to see and hear you perform on the banjo back in 1974 --- Paolo Soleri Amphitheater, Santa Fe, New Mexico, along with Linda Rondstadt and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. You also performed balloon twisting. Do you remember the show? 'Twas a memorable experience for me to see your mix of music and humor even back then!!

Nov. 03 2011 02:20 PM
Barett from Brooklyn, NY

Wonderful. I don't know if he shows up in the documentary, but the guy who got me seriously into listening to the banjo was cartoonist R. Crumb.

Nov. 03 2011 02:20 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Mr. Martin, thank you for being a renaissance man!

Nov. 03 2011 02:16 PM

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