The Jerk (1979)

The Jerk

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I’m not sure about the universe.” –Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

“Reflections on The Jerk”
A poem by Keith Cantrell

Among the parables that Jesus told
There was one about a young man so bold
Left pa and bro to go out in the cold
Chasing fame, riches, and some hands to hold

The Jerk: this film stars Steve Martin gone wild
Who was born in the world a poor black child
It’s like the parable, but not so mild;
Navin R. Johnson becomes quite defiled

After lots of odd jobs both near and far,
Runaway Nav gets a hella nice car
Lawsuit takes more than a drunk at a bar…
Leaving just a few pennies in his jar

“I don’t need nothing!” he says as he goes
Carrying stuff from his head to his toes
His words and actions really juxtapose
Because like it or not, greediness shows

Paramount said no to making The Jerk
Universal thought they could make it work
Carl Reiner and his knack for the berserk
Was Martin’s choice to direct with a smirk

Some critics think the comedy is bland
But must substance and laughs stay hand-in-hand?
If that’s true, Bean and Pee-wee should be canned
Within reason, stupidity is grand

In this movie there’s still lessons to learn
For instance, no matter how much we earn
There are still things in life for which we’ll yearn
Family and love will make our hearts burn

With that, I adjourn