Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Steve Martin says sorry over joke

Steve Martin apologised for his Twitter joke

Steve Martin has apologised after making a joke that he later conceded was "highly inappropriate".

The funnyman was engaging with fans on Twitter and asked then to submit questions about grammar. When one asked "Is this how you spell lasonia?", the star replied: "It depends. Are you in an African-American neighbourhood or at an Italian restaurant?"

However, Steve apparently quickly realised his joke could have been viewed as offensive and deleted it.

The 68-year-old apologised, and later shared a fuller explanation online.

He said: "I was riffing on Twitter, inviting people to ask me grammar questions. I replied with what I hoped were funny answers. For example, a person might write 'What's the difference between then and than?' I would say, 'then is a conjunctive preposition, and than is a misspelling of thank'. I have done similar things to this on other occasions, and there is a great spirit of fun between me and the Twitters followers.

"I was going along fine when someone wrote, 'How do you spell lasonia?' I wrote: 'It depends if you are in an African American neighbourhood or an Italian restaurant.' I knew of the name Lasonia. I did not make it up, nor do I find it funny.

"So to me the answer was either Lasonia (with a capital), or Lasagna, depending on what you meant. That they sounded alike in this rare and particular context struck me as funny. That was the joke. When the tweet went out, I saw some negative comments and immediately deleted the tweet and apologised. I gathered the perception was that I was making fun of African American names.

"Later, thinking it over, I realised the tweet was irresponsible, and made a fuller apology on Twitter."

Steve also addressed the fact that his joke had been misquoted by some gossip sites.

And he concluded: "Comedy is treacherous. I used to try out jokes in clubs and the audience's feedback would tell me when I had crossed a line, or how to shape a joke so it is clear. Today, the process is faster. It's your brain, a button, then millions of reactions. But it's my job to know."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Scorpio:

You prefer to work out problems in secret, with no interference from friends and family. It's not that you don't respect other people's opinions. You simply know intuition is your best guide. In the past, you followed conventional wisdom, only to regret your choice. Don't make this mistake now, when there is an important career matter before you. Accepting a glamorous job is tempting, but you'd prefer a position that is more edgy and demanding. An unpredictable job is calling your name; grab it.More