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Pop Culture / Celebrities > Steve Martin Performance Leads to Refunds/For What Have You Ever Demanded a Refund?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Read this article about a Steve Martin public interview in NYC that led to the organization giving $50 dollar gift certificates (which aren't really a refund, now that I think of it) to the attendees:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/nyr...

“We acknowledge that last night’s event with Steve Martin did not meet the standard of excellence that you have come to expect from 92nd St. Y,” he wrote in an e-mail to ticket holders. “We planned for a more comprehensive discussion and we, too, were disappointed with the evening. We will be mailing you a $50 certificate for each ticket you purchased to last night’s event. The gift certificate can be used toward future 92Y events, pending availability.”

This is really interesting to me. What did they expect? Was he supposed to say "I'm a wild and crazy guy!" and put an arrow on his head?

I don't think I'd ever ask for a refund on a performance. I'm too lazy. What about in a restaurant? Or with a product? Anyone?


message 2: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6031 comments RandomAnthony wrote: "I'm too lazy. "

Me too, but I've been tempted to with several concerts (Chris Isaak, Jeff Beck, Sugarcubes).


message 3: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments i've heard of people getting refunds for a badly translated book.


message 4: by Ken (new)

Ken (playjerist) | 721 comments At the very least, I’d give Steve everything in my pocket to say, “The new phone book’s here, the new phone book’s here!”


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments How odd. All I can think of from reading the article is that the interviewer must have been really bad, which doesn't seem to be the case, because Martin defended her. So I guess the audience really, really didn't want him to talk about art.

Most of the awful interviews I've had were awful because the interviewer asked closed questions. Instead of "What inspired this book?" she might have asked "So, I've heard this book was inspired by ____" to which the only answer would be "yes."

I've also been to some less-than-stellar conversation-format events. I saw Helen Thomas interviewed as if she were a fortune teller, with absolutely no reference to her history in the White House press room. Usually those interviews are made up for by a Q & A session where the real questions get asked and answered. Martin seems to have had a Q & A at the end.
Without hearing the conversation I can't quite see how bad it might have been, but I'm guessing it must have REALLY been about the art world, and must have strayed very far from the novel.
The 92nd St Y is pretty awesome usually.


message 6: by Michele (new)

Michele bookloverforever (lovebooks14) | 1970 comments was he insulted? perhaps the Y just wasn't clear about the topic to be discussed?


message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments That's their own fault, then. At least they didn't make fun of his banjo playing. He's deadly serious about that, and probably would have punched someone.


message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments exactly what i thought bun. the very word i used. expectations.


message 9: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24359 comments Mod
I find the story very odd. My sense of the people who would go to that venue is that they're pretty culturally sophisticated (so why would they object to a discussion on art?). Were they upset to have paid money to hear an author try to sell copies of his book, i.e., they didn't expect it to be a mercenary exchange? I find Deborah Solomon's column pretty funny, so I'm not sure whether she's just not as good in person, or what. I'm kind of mystified.


message 10: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24359 comments Mod
Input from someone at Gawker:

"The Times article misses a few key points, the most salient being: Solomon was an incredibly tone-deaf interviewer who had obviously not come prepared. The issue wasn't that they were "talking about art," it was that she kept asking specific, narrow questions about his new book, which, because it had only been released two days earlier, could not have possibly been read by many in the audience. That's not an audience problem. Also, I've never seen a less charismatic interviewer. She came off as both dismissive of Steve Martin (though apparently the two are friends) and of the audience. The article really goes easy on her."


message 11: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments That does make the whole incident somewhat more comprehensible, LG. The NYTimes article made it appear completely baffling.


message 12: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24359 comments Mod
I guess it's not surprising, right? How often do journalists criticize another journalist? Some articles seem to be written in code. A blogger named Digby wrote a brilliant post about this once but I'd never be able to find it.


message 13: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6031 comments Myles wrote: "Clark wrote: "RandomAnthony wrote: "I'm too lazy. "

Me too, but I've been tempted to with several concerts (Chris Isaak, Jeff Beck, Sugarcubes)."

Entirely off-topic, but were the Sugarcubes that ..."



It wasn't my idea to go, but my cousin was in town from Denver and wanted to see them.

Maybe it was the heat - 1988 was the hottest summer I ever recall suffering through in Detroit. Maybe it was the diarrhea-induced cramps brought on by the stifling conditions inside an obviously oversold St. Andrews's Hall. Nah, never mind all of that. Plain and simple, The Sugarcubes are worthless as tits on a nun. Hard to imagine anyone sitting down and listening to one of their albums, or one of Bjork's, for kicks.

$10.50 and about four hours of my life I'll never get back.


message 14: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Myles wrote: "Clark wrote: "RandomAnthony wrote: "I'm too lazy. "

Me too, but I've been tempted to with several concerts (Chris Isaak, Jeff Beck, Sugarcubes)."

Entirely off-topic, but were the Sugarcubes that ..."


I saw them in Chicago, one of their first shows ever in America, might have been that same tour...I thought they were pretty good, but Bjork's voice was all messed up. Why did you go if you didn't like them, Clark?


message 15: by Dr. Detroit (last edited Dec 03, 2010 05:27AM) (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6031 comments RandomAnthony wrote: "Myles wrote: "Clark wrote: "RandomAnthony wrote: "I'm too lazy. "

Me too, but I've been tempted to with several concerts (Chris Isaak, Jeff Beck, Sugarcubes)."

Entirely off-topic, but were the Su..."


My cousin wanted to go. Blood is thicker than water and all of that. You're right though. I couldn've said, "No."


message 16: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments My cousin wanted to go. Blood is thicker than water and all of that.

That's how I ended up seeing shudders Crosby, Stills, and Nash.


message 17: by Dr. Detroit (new)

Dr. Detroit | 6031 comments RandomAnthony wrote: "My cousin wanted to go. Blood is thicker than water and all of that.

That's how I ended up seeing shudders Crosby, Stills, and Nash."


You mean you didn't swoon during "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"?


message 18: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments From horror, maybe...


message 19: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Steve Martin wrote a NY Times op-ed in response to the whole thing: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/opi...


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