Comedian Steve Martin in ad for Nebraska US Senate candidate

OMAHA, Neb., Oct 6 (Reuters) - Steve Martin has released anoff-beat ad endorsing Bob Kerrey's candidacy in Nebraska's U.S.Senate race, in which the actor and comedian demonstrates how tobuild a wad of paper while cue cards offering praise for Kerreyare displayed on the screen.

Martin, playing the role of "home crafts expert," mangles ablank single sheet of white paper with paper clips, scissors,staples, chewing gum and a hammer, while a hand emerges from offscreen offering typed messages in praise of Kerrey.

"He is a principled man whom I have known and respected formany years," reads one.

"But most of all... He is sane. And his ideas are workable,"

reads another.

Kerrey, a Democrat, represented Nebraska in the the U.S.Senate from 1989 to 2001, when he moved to New York City to leadThe New School university. He returned to Omaha this year toseek the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, a Democrat.Kerrey, who faces Republican State Senator Deb Fischer in theNov. 6 election, has trailed in polls.

In a Facebook posting introducing the web video, Kerreyjoked he has been aware of Martin's "home crafts expertise," andis "pleased that he now wants to share his talents with youalong with his endorsement for me for the U.S. Senate."

(Editing by Edith Honan and Vicki Allen)

((Edith.Honan@thomsonreuters.com)(646 223 6323))