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Only Murders in the Building: Steve Martin and Martin Short’s Best Collaborations

“All of us has an El Guapo to face,” Lucky Day assures the citizens south of the border. “For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous man who wants to kill us.” Directed by John Landis, written by Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, and Randy Newman, who also wrote the songs, Three Amigos! was in-famous when it came out. That doesn’t mean more than famous, as the film claims. The poorly reviewed flop sprouted into a sweet Little Buttercup of a comedy cult classic since.

Saturday Night Live Season 12 Episode 6 (1986)

One would think Short and Martin would have a longer list of mutual credits on NBC’s long-running sketch show. Short was a cast member for the 1984-85 season, and Martin was one of the earliest regular hosts. Each of them introduced iconic characters, Steve’s Wild and Crazy Guy, and Martin’s Ed Grimley to name just two. Steve broke records for how many times he hosted, flipping his tenure in the Five-Timers Club several times over. With only three hosting credits, Short is a mere waiter at that exclusive VIP backroom. The pair co-hosted a few times, but we can imagine some covert deal with Alec Baldwin where it still only counts towards Steve’s Club record.

Steve and Martin’s brightest spot together was their first, when they hosted alongside Chevy Chase on Dec. 6, 1986. It remains one of the most irreverent and expansive monologues in the history of the show, with a production number loaded with irony. Short channels Katherine Hepburn, and Steve takes over regular programming, even if he does lose his place on the cue cards a few times.

Father of the Bride (1991) and Father of the Bride Part II (1995)

You would think Steve’s George Banks would trip over himself before hiring Franck Eggelhoffer, Martin’s uniquely, shall we say overenthusiastically tasteful tongue-twisting wedding coordinator, for a repeat performance. Banks’ company makes shoes, after all. But not only does Eggelhoffer plan the chaotic nuptials of Banks’ daughter Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) in Father of the Bride, but Banks’ wife, Nina (Diane Keaton) calls him back for the 1995 sequel Father of the Bride Part II.

In the first film, the wedding is set to happen in five months’ time, a little fast but Franck “does it for a loving.” The sequel sees him plan dual baby showers for Nina and Annie. Franck’s wedding cake of choice cost $1,200, imagine the price of two sets of fully choreographed prenatal arrangements. While Banks desperately navigates mangled phonetics and skyrocketing costs, Franck delivers fantastic betrothals and gatherings as over-the-top as Short’s manically complex performance. Martin sleepwalks through his best scene in the sequel.

​The Prince of Egypt (1998)

DreamWorks Animation parted the Red Sea for the epic biblical musical The Prince of Egypt, but had the wisdom to keep Steve and Martin inseparable as high priests Hotep and Huy. In the scene where Moses goes Old Testament, turning rods into serpents, the priests take it back a notch, giving a history lesson on the awesome might of Egyptian gods. These old-school multi-deity worshippers didn’t just float into town in a basket, and no matter how many Commandments Moses is packing, they let him know he’s “Playing with the Big Boys.”

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