On April 21st, 1990, comedy legend Steve Martin hosted “Saturday Night Live” for the 12th time. Martin had already established himself as a comedic force to be reckoned with, thanks to his work as a stand-up comedian and his roles in classic films like “The Jerk” and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” However, his appearance on this particular episode of “SNL” would go down in history as one of the show’s most iconic moments.
During the episode, Martin performed a sketch titled “The Tooncinator,” a parody of the then-popular film “The Terminator.” In the sketch, Martin played a robotic comedian who traveled back in time to prevent other comedians from ever becoming successful. The sketch featured appearances by several famous comedians, including Billy Crystal, Jon Lovitz, and Dana Carvey, and was an instant classic.
However, it was Martin’s monologue that truly stole the show. Rather than delivering a traditional stand-up routine, Martin instead chose to perform a musical number titled “Not Gonna Phone It In Tonight.” The song poked fun at the idea that Martin was only hosting “SNL” for the paycheck, with lyrics like “I’m not the kind of guy who’s always lazy / But when it comes to hosting, I’m mostly hazy.” The song was an instant hit with audiences and became a fan favorite.
Martin’s appearance on this episode of “Saturday Night Live” was important for several reasons. For one, it solidified his status as one of the most beloved and respected comedians of his generation. It also showcased his versatility as a performer, as he was able to deliver both a hilarious sketch and an unforgettable musical number.
Furthermore, Martin’s appearance on this particular episode of “SNL” helped to cement the show’s legacy as one of the most important and influential comedy institutions of all time. “Saturday Night Live” had already been on the air for over 15 years by this point, but Martin’s appearance helped to revitalize the show and remind audiences of its importance in the world of comedy.
Today, nearly 31 years after Steve Martin’s unforgettable appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” the show continues to be a launching pad for some of the biggest names in comedy. From Eddie Murphy and Tina Fey to Bill Hader and Kate McKinnon, “SNL” has played a vital role in shaping the careers of countless comedians over the years.
As we reflect on the legacy of Steve Martin’s appearance on “SNL” on this April 21st, it’s clear that his impact on the world of comedy continues to be felt to this day. His ability to make audiences laugh through his wit, charm, and undeniable talent remains an inspiration to comedians and comedy fans around the world.