|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Steve Martin Pt. 2|
Steve Martin learned the hard way last week that live audiences don't always appreciate lengthy discourses on the art world. The actor-comedian was at a talk at the 92nd Street Y in New York and spent much of the evening discussing all things art-related, tied to his new book, "An Object of Beauty." Audiences were so unhappy with the serious talk that the 92nd Street Y reportedly offered everyone a refund.
On Wednesday night's episode of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, Martin found a crowd that was much more welcoming of his expertise as an art collector and connoisseur. Host Stephen Colbert presided over a mock art-valuation session in which he asked Martin how much he would pay for a Colbert portrait. (You can watch the segment in the clip above.)
When Martin replied that he wasn't interested -- valuing the painting at about $19 -- Colbert introduced a series of renowned artists -- Frank Stella, Shepard Fairey and Andres Serrano -- who either offered commentary or provided their own embellishments to the portrait. (The moments were reminiscent of Woody Allen pulling Marshall McLuhan out of thin air in "Annie Hall.")
Fairey took time to spray-paint the Colbert painting with his "Obey" logo. Serrano used a marker to transform Colbert into a Hitler-esque demagogue. Martin's interest in the work appeared to grow as each artist added his own embellishment.
The lessons of the Colbert episode are manifold...