10:42am PT by Katherine Schaffstall
Steve Martin and Martin Short Test Friendship in "Best Friends Challenge"
Steve Martin and Martin Short proved the strength of their friendship on The Tonight Show on Thursday. In a game called “Best Friends Challenge,” host Jimmy Fallon explained that the rules are similar to “the Newlywed Game but for friends.” After Fallon asked questions about Martin and Short, they were told to separately write their answers on a piece of paper.
“If Martin [Short] won the lottery, what would he buy?” asked Fallon. Martin revealed his answer first, which was “friends.” Short then said that the real answer was, “Another face-lift but this time with a real doctor.”
The next question was if Martin was a liquid, which would he choose to be. Short responded, “I wrote skim milk because he looks like a glass of skim milk.” Martin revealed that he wrote, “Why would I want to be a liquid?”
In his next question, Fallon asked Short what was the most embarrassing thing that Martin had ever done. “Do you have another pen? I’ve run out of paper,” Martin joked while writing his answer. After reiterating the question, Short stated, “It was a bad moment. He slapped Barry Manilow because he thought Barry was me.” Martin then revealed his answer, stating, “Got confused in a men’s room and dried my hands on the man next to me.”
“Complete this sentence,’ Fallon explained before asking the final question: “Steve has the world’s greatest blank.” After both of the men answered, “Collection of Nazi memorabilia,” Short proclaimed, “Oh my god! We are best friends!”
Earlier in the interview the two reflected on the last time they'd visited The Tonight Show. “We got some criticism afterward because the viewers thought we were sitting too close together,” recalled Martin, before Fallon shared a photo from the last visit in which Martin was leaning on Short. “We’re as close as Kanye and Trump,” said Short.
After Fallon told the two comedians that they are his comedy heroes, both Martin and Short handed out compliments to the host. After stating that he hasn’t aged, Short added that Fallon is basically America’s dad. “And that certainly worked out for Cosby, so it should be fine for you.”
Short also complimented Fallon’s opening monologue for the episode. “Just because the audience doesn’t laugh out loud doesn’t mean that they’re not laughing on the inside.” Martin added that he did hear laughter, though not from the audience. “It was Jimmy’s.”
During the interview, Martin recalled that the New Yorker named Short as one of the greatest talk show guests of all time. While he said he was pleased, Martin also admitted that he was confused why he wasn’t considered the best talk show guest. “I ran into Oprah at a party, who always has good advice, and I said, ‘What do you think about this? I’m feeling a little funny.’ And she said, ‘Look, he is your friend you should celebrate his success.’ And I thought that is really good advice,” he said, before joking, “but I think the best advice was from Tonya Harding’s mom.”
Fallon then asked the friends if they have learned anything from each other after working together for 33 years. “I learned from Marty that he’s a very generous person and I mean that,” said Martin. “If he picks up a check in a restaurant, he always draws a little heart right on the line where the tip is supposed to go.”
“The most fascinating thing about Steve is that he’s not afraid to hit someone else’s kid,” added Short, jokingly.
Martin then told Short, “I have learned from you, you do not need a pool to have a pool boy.” Short responded, “This is what I’ve learned from Steve: That a urinal doesn’t just have to be used for number one.”
The two then discussed what it’s like to work on a comedy tour together. “Well Steve, at his age, doesn’t so much tour as he wanders off,” said Short before Martin jokingly began to wander off of the couch. “Let me tell you something. Nothing connects with the millennials like banjo playing. I listen to Steve on the banjo and I just close my eyes and I pretend I’m on hold with Cracker Barrel.”
Watch the interview below.