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One of the best Steve Martin movies is now streaming on Netflix

Steve Martin has starred in some of the most groundbreaking comedy movies known to man, so it's great to see one of his earlier works on the Netflix catalog.

Steve Martin in The Jerk

It’s high praise to say when someone has been making audiences laugh for decades. But in the case of Steve Martin, it’s very much a fact. Having started his career as a comedian performing outrageous and offbeat routines, Steve Martin quickly rose the ranks and would go on to star in some of the best comedy movies of all time.

Throughout his career, he’s worked with some of the best directors in the genre, has hosted the comedy series Saturday Night Live an astonishing 16 times, and has earned five Grammy Awards and a Primetime Emmy award. (You’ll catch us watching Martin on the small screen now that the Only Murders in the Building season 3 release date has just hit today.)

And great news! You can now watch one of his earliest (and honestly, silliest) movies on the Netflix streaming service. For US subscribers, 1979’s The Jerk has joined everything new on Netflix this month, and will sit alongside some of the best Netflix movies.

The Jerk follows Steve Martin as Navin Johnson, a man who was adopted by a black family in Mississippi. Navin, completely unaware his entire live that he was different, is told on his birthday that he was left on their doorstep as a baby. When he realizes he must go out into the world, he leaves his loving family behind and sets out on a journey filled with strange people, dangerous situations, and plenty of crazy antics.

Navin is dim-witted, has no sense of rhythm, and is completely unaware of how society really functions. All this makes for some hilarious confrontations and situations in which he finds himself. He, along with his new dog, Shithead, must learn the ways of the world in order to get by.

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Although Martin may now be regarded as one of the greatest comedic actors of the ’80s and ’90s, The Jerk was one of the first few movies he starred in. Shortly after, he would go on to star in many more throughout the early ’80s, and would then make his name rise even higher with films such as Little Shop of Horrors, Roxanne, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

The Jerk was part of Martin’s plan to cement himself in the movie business, since he believed it would ensure more longevity than a stand-up career. He actually wrote the screenplay for the film, all starting from his simple idea of the opening line: “It wasn’t always easy for me; I was born a poor black child.”

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The movie would then take a while to get off the ground, passing through various producers and directors until it landed with Carl Reiner, who was known for his work on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

At the time, The Jerk was considered a box office hit, bringing in $100 million world wide. These days, The Jerk is considered as something of a vintage comedy classic, and is regarded as being just as quotable and as much of a showcase for the beloved Martin comedy style that fans have always loved.

For more streaming gems, check out our lists of the best Netflix series and best Netflix horror movies to watch now. You can also see what’s new on Disney Plus and new on Amazon Prime this month, so you never miss a moment of the best movies around.

See if Only Murders in the Building season 3 is streaming, and refresh your memory with the Only Murders in the Building season 2 ending explained. For more laughs, see when the Frasier reboot release date is due to hit.