Martin Short is one of those people that, whether you’ve seen any of his work, you just know who he is. From his 80s heyday the only film I’ve seen is Three Amigos, which came out two years before I was born, but was a favorite of my father’s. He’s probably not the most famous/ recognizable face from his comedy class of Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, John Candy, Dan Akroyd etc but he has had a prolific career as someone willing to go the extra mile for a joke.
[Wife Nancy] said,” Mart, cream rises to the top. You’ll never go away. People just wouldn’t have it.”
Short shares stories from Second City, Godspell, Saturday Night Live, and the various characters he’s created throughout the years (like Ed Grimely and Jiminy Glick), most of his characters veered a bit too far for my taste but I do enjoy Franck from The Father of the Bride.
I Must Say really did show me just how prolific the Canadian comedian has had throughout the years. While he may be best known in my house from his single episode stints in Arrested Development and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt the man has truly had an enduring career in meatier roles.
While I enjoyed hearing about his career, it was his family life and friendships that I really enjoyed reading about. Short was the youngest of five children; he lost both of his parents when he was a young man and while the narrative some people like to write is that he channeled his pain into comedy Marty always knew he wanted to entertain. He’s great friends with Steve Martin and Tom Hanks- they get colonoscopys together- and he used to host a Christmas party where famous people like Steve and Tom as well as Bernadette Peters, Nathan Lane and Victor Garber sing songs like a star studded Holiday Review that we aren’t privy to. He also had a beautiful relationship with his wife, Nancy, who passed away six years ago from ovarian cancer and he uses several passages of his memoir to truly express his feelings about her for posterity.
Martin’s frantic energy comes across well in A Must Say and the overall memoir is a charming look at what makes the comedian “tick.”