Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend (Short)

I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend, by Martin Short, 2014

Martin Short, the comic, the actor, the funnyman, started from humble beginnings. I knew of him from Second City TV, which was syndicated back when I was in high school, so I knew he was a little older than I was. I didn't realize how much older than me he is.

The other, more significant thing I hadn't realized is just who was in the circle of performers he started with, people not associated with SCTV (or that I associated with them). He was friends with Paul Shaffer, for example, long before Paul was part of Letterman's Late Night or Late Show and before his days at Saturday Night Live. (I also didn't know that Shaffer was part of SNL -- he played piano for Bill Murray's lounge singer, for example.) Short didn't just know Gilda Radner, but dated her in the days before Gene Wilder and Nancy Dolman. I knew that Short and Dolman had been married a long time, but I didn't realize that Dolman had been an actress (specifically, I remember her from the last season of Soap), nor did I know that she passed away a few years ago.

Right there, you know where the drama in the last part of the book stems from. The rest of the book, however, is his climb from humble beginnings into TV and movies, and the story behind so many of his characters. His name dropping is just whipped cream on top of the pie. He's brutally honest at times, but not indiscreet about those he's worked with and have been in his lives over the years.

I almost wish I can become famous enough to get invited to one of his parties.

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