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Saturday Night Live Wasted Steve Martin’s Return

Comedian Steve Martin has been appearing on Saturday Night Live for more than 45 years, but his recent return to the show was marred by bad writing.

Steve Martin surprised Saturday Night Live audiences with a guest appearance in an episode hosted by Selena Gomez, but it was ultimately a waste of the actor’s comedic talents. Martin has been a dominating force in comedy for more than 50 years, appearing in some of the most popular films and stand-up specials in history, as well as being one of the most famous faces to ever play the banjo. But Martin was the latest performer let down by Saturday Night Live in a recent episode, with the writers failing to make use of the actor’s considerable talents in one of the most underwhelming sketches in recent memory.

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Steve Martin has long been one of the best Saturday Night Live hosts, appearing for the first time in 1976 during the show’s second season. While Saturday Night Live had already found a degree of popularity with hosts like George Carlin and Richard Pryor, Martin’s chaotic comedy style meshed particularly well with the show’s format, helping to further propel it to mainstream success. Martin has since hosted a whopping 15 times, the second-most appearances in Saturday Night Live history, behind only Alec Baldwin.

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Martin recently appeared alongside fellow Only Murders in the Building star Selena Gomez in a sketch about the inventor of the Whoopee Cushion. Despite the best efforts of the cast, the scene inevitably amounted to little more than a half-hearted fart joke, culminating in Gomez’s mediocre line: “It was that night he realized the funniest noise that could come out of a butt was a fart.” The sketch was a low point of an already underwhelming episode, wasting the return of one of the show’s greatest performers.


Prior to his cameo alongside Gomez, Martin’s last Saturday Night Live appearance was during the unfortunately barren “canceled” Paul Rudd episode in December 2021. Rudd was inducted into the 5-Timers Club by a skeleton crew of Saturday Night Live cast members as a result of the resurgence of COVID-19, with Martin appearing briefly in a video call to congratulate the new inductee. The ceremony was unfortunately underwhelming, with Rudd’s disappointment worn plainly on his face, and despite Martin’s best efforts to bring levity to the occasion, the episode ultimately left viewers wanting.


After his brief appearance in Rudd’s episode, Steve Martin returning to the show in full force would have been exciting for fans, and for Martin as well. Even in a limited capacity, Martin’s comedic prowess dominates scenes, making his appearances the most memorable part of any given episode. But the writing in this most recent episode was unbefitting of such a talent and is a waste of Steve Martin’s return to performing and the relationship that he and Saturday Night Live have developed over the last 45 years.

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