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Steve Martin Reveals What Elvis Presley Thought of His Comedy Act After the King Caught His Las Vegas Show — New Doc

‘STEVE! (Martin) A Documentary in 2 Pieces,’ streaming on Apple TV+, includes Martin’s hilarious recollection of meeting Elvis

<p>Steve Granitz/FilmMagic; Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty</p> (Left-right:) Steve Martin; Elvis Presley

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic; Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty

(Left-right:) Steve Martin; Elvis Presley

Steve Martin recalls a funny run-in with the King in his new documentary.

The actor-musician, now 78, tells the story of meeting Elvis Presley — in the rocker’s natural environment, Las Vegas — in part one of STEVE! (Martin) A Documentary in 2 Pieces, now streaming on Apple TV+.

The first installment, titled “Then,” recounts Martin’s ascent from Disneyland employee at age 10 to world’s most popular stand-up comic by the early 1980s. Among the stories he recounts for documentary director Morgan Neville is a stint opening for Ann-Margret and husband Roger Smith in Sin City.

In 1970, remembers Martin, Ann-Margret had a lavish dressing room where he and her guests would mingle. When Presley — who dated Ann-Margret and starred with her in 1964's Viva Las Vegas — arrived, he made quite the impression on the burgeoning comedian.

<p>Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett</p> Steve Martin in "Leap of Faith"

Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett

Steve Martin in "Leap of Faith"

Related: Dionne Warwick on Meeting Elvis for the First Time in Las Vegas: 'Oh My God, Was He Pretty'

“I see Elvis coming back to visit Ann-Margret,” narrates the Planes, Trains and Automobiles star. “And he was all in white, and he had the big belt.”

Presley, he continues in voiceover, “goes past my dressing room, and he says, ‘Son, you have an oblique sense of humor.’”

Complete with Presley-esque accent, Martin says that the King then added, “‘You wanna see my guns?’”

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STEVE! (Martin) charts the ups and downs of Martin honing those “oblique” sensibilities, which in the 1970s included opening for musicians and performing gigs at colleges, the Playboy Club and more — until he made “Headline, don’t open” a personal mantra.

As with all stand-up pros, the eventual honorary Oscar winner recalls several unsuccessful gigs and much existential doubt among those successful stints that gained him a cult following. After one of his Ann-Margret openers in Vegas, Martin says he went back to his dressing room only to find all his things outside in the hallway.

Related: 20 Celebrities On the Joys of Getting Older 

“I started to realize what I was doing was a parody of show business,” Martin says of his “overly confident idiot” act, which soon brought him to television on the likes of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

<p>Courtesy of Apple TV+</p> Steve Martin in "STEVE! (Martin) A Documentary in 2 Pieces"

Courtesy of Apple TV+

Steve Martin in "STEVE! (Martin) A Documentary in 2 Pieces"

On the latter talk show, Martin became a big hit. During a 1974 appearance, fellow Carson guest Sammy Davis Jr. took to the stage at the end of the act to give him the “instant endorsement” of a hug, recalls Martin in the documentary. Soon afterward, Lorne Michaels offered him the first of several life-changing Saturday Night Live hosting gigs that would launch Martin to superstar status.

STEVE! (Martin) A Documentary in 2 Pieces is streaming on Apple TV+ now.

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