There’s something reassuringly old-fashioned about the awkwardly-yet-brilliantly-titled ’An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life’ - a stream-of-consciousness comedy special featuring 72-year old Steve Martin and 68-year old Martin Short. Yes, they are really that old - a realisation that, if you’re of my vintage, is quite disturbing.
Anyhow, back to the matter at hand.
‘Evening’ is apparently another blessing from the ‘stars of yesteryear needing money’ catalogue (see also John Cleese, Leonard Cohen and many, many others), proving again that something good can come from tough financial times, at least if you’re a Netflix subscriber or have enough cash to shell out to see these people live in concert.
Short and Martin strut their stuff through musical numbers (one of which features Short in a nude bodysuit singing about life as Jesus Christ’s brother), fireside chat moments (Martin has quite the wonderful anecdote about meeting Elvis), hurling insults at each other and other sparkling repartees. It doesn’t really have much by way of structure, things just sort of amble along - Martin will take the stage solo for a while, the duo will do some schtick together, and then Short will do some solo stuff. But it all works.
Short is so spry and energetic it’s almost impossible to believe he’s over 60 while Martin remains just as witty as ever. And it’s a testament to the two as performers that they make the performance seem fresh. You’d imagine they’ve done it night in, night out many times - but, they laugh at each other's jokes like it’s the first time they’ve heard it, they occasionally drop character and bring energy to the show that is quite a joy to watch.
Sure, it doesn’t have much by way of substance or edge. Fans of Martin may be disappointed that it doesn’t offer the same deconstruction of standup comedy that his old act did, while fans of Short may be disappointed that… well… um… I dunno… that there aren’t any ‘Captain Ron’ references, maybe? (It’s OK, people… Jiminy Glick does show up… I didn’t forget the Glick).
But, it’s consistently funny, full of memorable moments and… easily re-watchable which, when you think about it, is really all that matters.
Anotherfilmnerd's earliest cinematic memory was seeing Don Johnson throw up all over a suspect in John Frankenheimer's 'Dead Bang'. Ever since, he's devoted his life to searching out cinema that's weird, wonderful and features vomit in the most unlikely of places.