Steve Martin: The Funniest Banjo Player

He's "A Wild and Crazy Guy" who has made audiences laugh for years. Now Steve Martin is at it again with the release of "The Pink Panther 2" and his new bluegrass/country album, "The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo."

"We heard Inspector Clouseau was coming, so we secured everything in the studio," Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez joked.

"Anything could be broken at any moment. I am looking at the scenes remembering shooting them and how crazy it is and how much fun it is when you are you setting fire inside a sound stage really and spraying water, it's just like being a kid," Martin said.

"And you get paid for it?" Rodriguez added.

"Yeah. Kids don't get paid. That's true!" he said.

Martin got quite a compliment from his "Pink Panther 2" co-star, John Cleese.

"He said to use a gesture from your 'SNL' days, 'I think Steve has the greatest comedy mind of anyone I've ever met,'" Rodriguez said.

"Oh, wow. I believe that about John Cleese. He's a great comedian. I love to work with such professionals, like Lily Tomlin is in the movie. Andy Garcia is in the movie. So many great actors. But working with a comedy mind like John Cleese, where you walk on, you both know exactly what to do and you're kind of working out the fine tuning of it. It's really a joy to do that," he said.

"Do you find yourself - the actors working with you, have a hard time keeping a straight face?" Rodriguez asked.

"We're all professionals. We want to get the job done. In the movies, you know if you laugh, you have ruined the take. Somebody might be doing something really funny, so you have to stay firm. And when they say 'cut,' you can laugh. It's a strange phenomenon, where you know you can laugh later, but you can't laugh then," he said.

Those who are familiar with Martin's stand-up act know he's played the banjo for a long time.

He played a short piece for Rodriguez from "The Crow" called "Late for School."

"It's all original tunes, songs I wrote. And I figured it was time to put them down and I worked with a friend of mine, John McEuen, a high school friend, who produced the record. He plays, and a lot of great musicians are on there -- Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Mary Black and Tim O'Brien," Martin said.

A man of so many talents, Martin is even nominated for a Grammy.

"Actually, I forgot. I know it sounds arrogant, but it's not. The best spoken word record, and the nomination happened long ago and I didn't even know when the Grammys were on and I thought I had already lost. But the Grammy Award is for my memoir, 'Born Standing Up,' which I read," Martin said. "And it's hard to go into studio and read an entire book. It takes hours and hours and hours. And I think I'll let somebody else could do it, but I can't let somebody else read my memoirs. It sounds weird when they say 'I.'"

The 51st annual Grammy Awards airs this Sunday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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