Steve Martin Only Agreed To Go On ‘Jimmy Fallon’ Because He Thought Feb. 29 Didn’t Exist

Steve Martin made a guest appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, during which he revealed that he didn’t actually want to sit down with Fallon for an interview, according to Billboard.

Grammy and Emmy Award winner Steve Martin appeared on Fallon’s show on Monday to promote his new Broadway musical Bright Star, but he actually had no interest in doing so. Martin reluctantly joined Fallon on stage for an interview and used a hilarious musical performance to delay the interview.

As said by Steve Martin, he didn’t want to do the show in the first place, which is why he performed the musical number from the green room called “I Don’t Want to Do This Show.”

In the song, Steve Martin complained about having to chat with Fallon about his latest musical, saying that the only reason he even booked his appearance on the show was that this episode was on February 29 and he thought that date didn’t exist.

“I only agreed to come on this show Feb. 29 because I thought that date didn’t exist – damn you, leap year!”

Monday’s episode of NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon also included the cast of Steve Martin and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell’s latest musical Bright Star performing an exclusive number from the show, which opens on March 24.

It was the musical’s national television debut, and the Monday episode of Jimmy Fallon’s show also included interviews not only with Steven Martin but also Brickell, as well as a musical number by Bright Star cast member Carmen Cusack, who performed “Sun’s Gonna Shine.”

Eventually, Steve Martin agreed to join Fallon for the interview, and the two discussed the comedian’s recent return to stand-up. The big return of the legendary comedian to stand-up took place at New York’s Beacon Theatre on February 18. Martin performed a warm-up act for Jerry Seinfeld’s new monthly show, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Steve Martin’s surprise appearance on stand-up stage was his first stand-up performance since 1981. However, it wasn’t Martin’s first onstage performance in 35 years, as the comedian has hosted the Oscars three times and is currently touring with his band The Steep Canyon Rangers, which has eight dates scheduled for this year.

Steve Martin decided to quit the stand-up scene in 1981 after being named one of the funniest stand-up comedians in the nation. During his recent appearance on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Martin explained his decision to quit by saying that he was “essentially depressed.”

“The audience could tire off so quickly. I was essentially depressed. I couldn’t do the old material and I knew I could do new material.”

Before starting his first stand-up performance in 35 years as a warm-up act for Jerry Seinfeld, Martin explained his decision to do stand-up again by saying that he was on stage only because of “that old showbiz saying: Never lose a bet to Jerry.”

Jesse David Fox wrote a detailed review of Steven Martin’s stand-up performance for Vulture, in which he noted that Martin seemed nervous at first but used quite a few of his classic-style jokes. Fox also noted that Martin “in his prime” told jokes about comedy and made fun of comedy.

“He told jokes that were unfunny, but he knew they were unfunny, and the audience knew he knew, and that’s what made them funny.”

It’s yet unknown if Steven Martin is going to continue doing stand-up comedy or whether it was just a one-time thing. In any case, fans of Martin’s stand-up jokes were delighted to see him back on stage.

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]