Friday, November 28, 2014



On screens large and small, on Broadway stages and in far-flung auditoriums, Martin Short has  won the hearts of millions for his singular comedy and genuine persona. Short’s memoir,I MUST SAY: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend (Harper; November 4, 2014), written with David Kamp, bears all the hallmarks of this singular comic voice and of the man himself: witty, upbeat, quirky, and authentic. Talking candidly about every aspect of his life and work—from his provincial Canadian childhood to his conquering every corner of show business he has occupied—Short shares his at turns hilarious and heartbreaking memories, for the first time talking at length about the people he has worked with, the people he has loved, and the beloved wife he lost to cancer.

As a boy growing up in Hamilton, Ontario, Short would fantasize about show business, mounting elaborate one-man TV variety shows in his childhood bedroom. His was a loving family beset by tragedy—he lost both his parents and a brother by the time he was 20, but Short managed to hold onto the cheery optimism that has both defined him and served him well. His big break was being cast in the Toronto production of Godspell, where we worked with many of the future comedy stars who would become his closest friends, including Gilda Radner, with whom he had a rocky love affair. He also met Nancy Dolman, the future wife with whom he would defy the Hollywood odds and share thirty-six years blissful years.

After a short stint trying his luck as a sitcom actor, Short returned to Canada and became part of television’s legendary SCTV, working alongside Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy, Dave Thomas, Paul Flaherty, and Andrea Martin (who became is sister-in-law). Next followed Saturday Night Live and the launch of a film career with such classics as ¡Three Amigos!,Innerspace, and Father of the Bride, followed by a Tony Award-winning stint on Broadway. Through it all there have been close friends like Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Paul Shaffer, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal, and always the comedy—which has spawned the small army of enduring comic alter-egos: Ed Grimley, Jiminy Glick, Nathan Thurm, Jackie Rogers Jr., and Irving Cohen.

Wit aside, I MUST SAY is also a heartfelt tribute to Short’s enduring marriage to Nancy and her brave battle with the ovarian cancer that took her life in 2010. Short writes with clarity and hindsight about the ordeal she endured with unimaginable perseverance and grace, and celebrates the normal life and family they created together against the backdrop of Hollywood celebrity.
As engaging as the man whose story it tells, I MUST SAY is that rare breed of show business memoir that underscores the friendships and family ties that make the fame and fortune possible.

 Martin Short is an Emmy and Tony award-winner who has appeared in such classic comic movies as Three Amigos and Father of the Bride. Short has starred in a number of television shows, including The Martin Short Show and its iterations (1994-2000), and Primetime Glick (2001-2003) on Comedy Central. Since the early 2000s, Short has played recurring characters on How I Met Your Mother, Weeds and Arrested Development, and was nominated for an Emmy for his work in an uncharacteristic straight role on Damages. He has performed frequently on Broadway, winning a Tony in 1999 for Best Actor in A Musical for Little Me, and winning raves for his work in The Goodbye Girl and his revue Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. He has provided his voice for a number of animated films, and has appeared hundreds of times on talk shows, from Conan to Letterman to Ellen to Fallon to Kimmel to Leno.

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