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


Steve Martin and Martin Short solve Only Murders in the Building because they’ve defied death on stage for decades.

Steve Martin and Martin Short in Only Murders in the Building.
Photo: Patrick Harbron | Hulu

It’s no mystery why Only Murders in the Building is killing it on Hulu. Besides the national obsession with true crime, there is a chemical reaction to the players which triggers a chaotic element unknown in forensics. Selina Gomez’s (occasionally “Bloody”) Mabel Mora ties up the loose ends. You might say she Martinizes them. It is harder to find looser ends than Steve Martin and Martin Short. As Charles-Haden Savage and Oliver Putnam, respectively, the two performers may stick to the scripts in the series, but they spent over a generation improvising over each other.

Martin and Short met while shooting the 1986 film Three Amigos! with Chevy Chase. Admiring new friend Steve’s opulent home, Martin was moved to ask “How did you get so rich,” he recalled on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, marveling at its improbability by admitting “I’ve seen your work.” They’ve been collaborating ever since, from sketch shows to live tours, and motion picture near-franchises. They launched their first live show, A Very Stupid Conversation, in 2015. By 2019, they were threatening audiences with their Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t tour. It was a smash of course, because just last year they began a tour promising You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Today.

Here are some of the times you might recognize Steve and Martin from what they looked like the other day:

Three Amigos! (1986)

When El Guapo and his gang of desperadoes terrorize the good people of the Mexican village of Santo Poco, villagers set off an alarm only silent film actors can hear. It sounds just like a casting cattle call, and Lucky Day (Martin), Ned Nederlander (Short) and Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase) know just where to rustle up the right costumes.

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