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General Information

Poster for Funny Numbers
  • Directed by

    Robert Osserman

  • Full title

    Funny Numbers: An Evening with Steve Martin in conversation with Bob Osserman

  • Runtime

    81 min

  • Location

    Berkely, CA (San Francisco's Herbst Theatre)

  • Recorded

    December 15, 2002

  • Distributed by

    American Mathematical Society


  • Robin Williams


  • Steve Martin


  • Bob Osserman



Author and actor Steve Martin chatted with mathematician Robert Osserman of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley on December 15, 2002, at San Francisco's Herbst Theatre. They discussed literature and mathematics, why two banjos are like one slide rule, and whether we really know what pi is. Steve Martin read and enacted excerpts from his works, reminisced about his work for the Smothers Brothers, and discussed the authors who influenced him. The hilarity of this event as it spins out of control has to be seen to be believed!

Funny Numbers: An Evening with Steve Martin in Conversation with Bob Osserman (81 minutes) is an MSRI production. Conceived, designed, and produced by Robert Osserman, Special Projects Director, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (msri.org). Executive Producers: Michael Singer, Robert Osserman, and Robert Megginson. Director and Editor: Audrey Ichinose, ETS, University of California, Berkeley. Special thanks to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Dr. Doron Weber.


The video is available on Vimeo. To see Robin's part, skip to 37:15 into the video.


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