We Reveal Our Mystery Guest
By: Violetta Holl, Marilyn.ca
All week long our audience awaited the reveal of our mystery guest. Well he is a Canadian legend and one of the funniest men in the world; he is comedian Martin Short.
When he sits in his chair, Marilyn mentions that all his friends have sat there. The group of friends she is referring to all stem from his work on SCTV (Second City Television) and include the legendary Victor Garber, Andrea Martin and Eugene Levy.
“Well I think what happens is like anything. You work with someone, and you choose to continue a relationship with them or not, and they become your friends.”
Martin Short certainly shares a large pool of comedian friends, all of whom have nothing, but respect for him.
Tom Hank says that he is a “Marty addict” and Larry Davis reveals that Martin is the funniest person he knows and has never heard a bad word spoken about him.
This prompts Marilyn to ask whether Martin is nice by nature or by choice? Is there anything wrong with him at all, because everyone loves him?
To which he replies, “There is a misnomer that people in comedy are filled with tragedy, that they are crying all the time. It’s the classic, the clown with the tear going down, and I don’t think it’s really accurate. I think it’s accurate for some. And I think it makes an interesting interview, if you are writing an article on someone who is more interesting if they are tormented. But Eugene Levy isn’t, Tom Hanks isn’t, most people who are successful are happy that they’ve had success.“
Short does not hesitate to give praise where it is deserved. He calls his pal Steve Martin a fascinating guy. “There is a reason he is Steve Martin,” he adds. The comedian would call up Short seven weeks ahead of a Letterman appearance and test his jokes. That effort and preparation is what makes him good at what he does in Short’s opinion.
Steve Martin worked alongside Short on the film called “The Three Amigos.” It also starred Chevy Chase and happened to be Short’s first movie. The group decided that the three of them would dress up in Mariachi costumes for the Hollywood opening. Yet, at 4pm that afternoon Steve and Chevy decided to ditch the idea and wear tuxedos instead, leaving Martin in the costume. “It was a lot of fun,” Short recalls.
“Father of the Bride,” is another classic where Steve Martin and Martin Short shared the screen. Short played a wedding planner, “ It was weird because the idea of it was that Steve as the father couldn’t understand this wedding co-ordinator, but Diane Keaton and her daughter Kimberley Williams could, which therefore symbolized his alienation from the whole process.” Short had to try various approaches in playing the character because if he was too easy to understand it would not be believable that the father couldn’t comprehend him, yet if he was too hard to understand the audience would be confused. Marilyn admits that she had to watch the movie twice because the first time she was laughing so hard that she missed half the things he was saying!
Another Short performance that stood out to Marilyn is SNL (Saturday Night Live) where he brought back characters from his SCTV days. Short joined the cast at a time when Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo left and helped revive the show in its tenth season. “That was the George Steinbrenner year because they paid us more money and they had never done that where people were already known.”
He admits he wanted to quit the gig after just four episodes. “It was like final exams every week. There was so much pressure, and I had done three years of SCTV that have been so much fun.” He went to the executive producer who was Dick Ebersol at the time, asking to break his one-year contract and explained that he has not cashed any of his cheques. He didn’t allow him to leave the show, and promised to let him after Christmas. By the time the Holidays rolled around, Short felt his job was “an amazing experience.” Ebersol later revealed to him that he knew once Short made it to Christmas he would have it all figured out.
“It’s an amazing experience doing that show. Because literally nothing is written on Monday and there is a read-through on Wednesday, they start building sets on Thursday and they have a dress (rehearsal) at 7:30. There are more sketches in the dress than on the air , they chop some shows to get it to time. And then when we start the show it’s live. “
But was Short always funny? Perhaps Short’s humor was inherited. He was the youngest of five children and stole his humor from his siblings. His brother, Michael, has won two Emmy awards as a writer, and according to Short all his family members were humorous. Music was also in the family’s background. Short’s mother was the first concertmaster of a symphony in North America.
“I think that Canada supports odd eccentric original beings, and they take them to their chest with pride, and they don’t judge them, and I think it’s a great place to be nurtured. “
Staying true to his Canadian roots, Short will be hosting the Canadian Screen Award on March 3rd. He is also nominated twice.
But here is something that not everyone may think of when they see Short, “When I look at you, I think potato chips,” says Marilyn. Those who have seen Short’s hilarious potato chip commercial for Lay’s know exactly what she is referring to. In it he plays two memorable characters. One of them is what Short explains as a kid from “Glee” and the other would be a “corporate executive of Chrysler.” What’s more, the company is hosting a contest where contestants come up with their unique flavour of chips. The winner will get to see their chips on store selves, receive a cash prize and even a percentage of sales.
“A relative of mine in the seventies used to put white vinegar on potatoes, she would have won because she would have invented salt and vinegar chips,” adds Short.
About Violetta Holl (marilyn.ca)
Violetta Holl is The Marilyn Denis Show’s Web Journalist. Whether it’s through her articles, photography or web exclusive videos she gets you caught up on what’s happening behind-the-scenes. Violetta has written for online publications for over five years, specializing in lifestyle and entertainment. She holds a BA in Professional Writing and Communication Studies, as well as, a College Diploma in Journalism Broadcasting.