Heard the one about Steve Martin's TV box set?


For those whose first experience of Steve Martin was in Father Of The Bride, his standing as America's biggest stand-up in the late 1970s (he quit live stage comedy abruptly), may seem hard to fathom.

But the release of a new collection of his TV comedy work (The Television Stuff) ought to serve as an explainer.

The collection takes in a hardy seven-hours of vintage and long-forgotten stand-up specials, one-offs produced by Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels, speeches and music videos.

This collection of classic Martin gold lies somewhat in contrast to a similar project from one of the UK's top comics – Peter Kay – who irritated fans in 2008 with the release of a £20, 80-minute DVD, Peter Kay's Special Kay which featured a similar run of cameos, chat show appearances and other bits of Kay-phemera. Which his loyal fanbase would have lapped up, were it not for the fact that a number of the clips – including adverts for John Smiths beer – had appeared on previous Kay DVDs.

The people – well, Amazon reviewers – spoke: "There is NO WAY I can condone anyone wasting their money on this."