Top 10 Steve Martin Performances

This talented comedian has made us laugh in countless films that showcase his unique sense of humor and use of good-natured slapstick. These include such beloved comedy classics as The Jerk, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Roxanne, Parenthood and The Three Amigos. Join as we count down our top 10 favorite Steve Martin performances.

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Top 10 Steve Martin Performances

All he ever wanted was an honest week’s pay for an honest day’s work. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our top 10 favorite Steve Martin performances.

#10 – George Banks (Father of the Bride)

Kicking off our list is Martin’s sweet-natured 1991 remake of the 50s classic about a father coming to terms with his daughter finally growing up, and the stress involved in planning her wedding. Playing the proud dad, Martin agonizingly takes us through his struggle to let go, with his very real and heartfelt delivery.

#9 – Vinnie Antonelli (My Blue Heaven)

In this eccentric comedic performance, Martin plays a former mob boss taken into the witness protection program. During his misadventures, he becomes close friends with an uptight agent assigned to protect him, while bursting into outrageous tangents. In this criminally underrated performance, Martin brings us countless laughs as a smooth talking gangster with a heart of gold aiming to survive his exile to the ‘burbs.

#8 - Orin Scrivello, DDS (The Little Shop of Horrors)

In this thrilling departure for the actor, Martin plays a musically inclined motorcycle-riding dentist out to personify everyone’s childhood fears! Channeling Elvis, Martin plays a leather-clad dentist who exuberantly abuses his patients while singing and huffing on nitrous oxide! No other actor could claim to have sung the best dentist song of all time… or at least done it with such gleeful joy.

#7 – Roger Cobb (All of Me)

Exploiting this film’s unusual premise, Martin puts his talents as a physical comedian to the screen as an uptight lawyer that gets inadvertently possessed by a dying millionaire. This allows him to not only play two characters, but both sexes, through his mastery of body language. He expertly demonstrates this range by mimicking specific gestures and emotional cues, a challenge few actors would so willing take on…

#6 - Lucky Day (Three Amigos)

In this iconic western spoof, Martin plays a member of a hapless silent era movie troupe opposite Martin Short and Chevy Chase. Martin spurs the laughs by contradicting the serious set pieces with his unique brand of childlike sparkle and naivety, performing his own rope work, and singing some of cinema’s most eccentric musical interludes…

#5 – Gil Buckman (Parenthood)

Another iconic parental role, Martin gives a mesmerizing performance as a neurotic sales executive trying to balance his family and career. Attempting life as a super dad, Martin manages to blend comedy with drama by spouting memorable lines, and stumbling through real life difficulties. This performance will always stick out as he manages to take on the very worst parental nightmares and make them shine as comedic fodder.

#4 – C.D. Bales (Roxanne)

Adapted from a famous stage play, “Cyrano de Bergerac”, Martin plays a fire chief with a Pinocchio-like nose. Ashamed of his unusual appearance, he tries to find other ways to win over the girl of his dreams, who is infatuated with his dimwitted coworker. A gentle, charming and whimsical role, this screen persona remains one of Steve Martin’s most endearing.

#3 – Freddy Benson (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)

Shifting away from the hopeless romantic, Martin takes on the role of a small-time and unsophisticated con man. Encroaching on the territory of a suave master con artist, played by Michael Caine, he pressures the mogul to take him under his wing. Forced to play the part of mentally challenged brother, he eventually challenges his teacher to a winner takes all bet. This allows Martin to fully transform from his signature bumbling halfwit to skilled and loveable master fraudster.

#2 – Neal Page (Planes, Trains and Automobiles)

In this seasonal road trip comedy, Martin plays an advertising executive on his way home for Thanksgiving. However, his plans are sabotaged by a well meaning, overly talkative and accident-prone curtain ring salesman, played by John Candy. During their odyssey together, Martin shows his range, maturing from high-strung man with a temper, to a soul who realizes what Thanksgiving is really all about.

#1 – Navin R. Johnson (The Jerk)

Taking the top spot on our list is Steve Martin’s first ever starring role, and the performance that made him a star. Based on his stand-up comedy routine in which he claimed to have been born a poor black child, he plays a half-witted man who comes to realize that he was adopted. To discover himself, he embarks on a series of misadventures, while establishing his many trademarks, including good-natured slapstick.

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