Jiminy Glick

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Jiminy Glick is a fictional character portrayed by Martin Short in the TV series Primetime Glick (2001–2003), the subsequent film Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, and Short's Broadway show Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. He began as a recurring character on The Martin Short Show. When that show was cancelled, he was spun off into his own series, Primetime Glick, which ran for three seasons.

Character origin[edit]

When Short hosted Saturday Night Live in the 1996 season, he played a character named Pinky Nye who seems to have been a proto-Glick: similar physique, voice, and attention span, and forever forgetting to take "ginko bilobo" (as both Nye and Glick pronounce it). Some people say Short's character, Jiminy Glick was based upon Skip E. Lowe, a lesser known host of the public access show, Skip E. Lowe Looks at Hollywood.[1][2]

The final episode of The Monkees features Rip Taylor playing a villain named Glick, whose character attributes are strikingly similar to those of Short's Glick.

Fictional biography[edit]

Born Malcolm Glickman March 12, 1948, in Akron, Ohio (although he has claimed to have been born in Omaha, Nebraska, or Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Jiminy Glick was the middle child of 10 children of Omar and Isabella Glickman. Glick, who describes himself as a Tibetan-American, was often a loner and would be made fun of regularly because of his obesity at a young age. He was also very sickly until he was 13, when doctors discovered that he had a small Tonka truck stuck in his duodenum. As a child, while riding his bike and listening to the song Michael Row the Boat Ashore, he lost his virginity when he fell on the "boy bar." Glick claimed his real name is Malcolm and he never liked the name. He says he was given the nickname "Jiminy" as crickets laid eggs in his anus. However, during an interview with Larry David, Glick confirms that Jiminy is his real name, given to him because his parents "were from the Bahá'í faith." [3]

After graduating from Gale Gordon High School, and continuing on to DeVry Institute of Technology and onto the University of Wisconsin, his life changed forever when the play Forty Carats, starring Lana Turner, came to town. He was asked to join the show and traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he played "Onlooker Number Two" in the cast, which he said was "like a dream!" After his short stage acting career, supposedly playing the leper in the film Papillon, Jiminy eventually became the personal assistant to Charles Bronson for five years during the '70s. He had planned on working for Robert Vaughn, but according to Jiminy, he "didn't pay."

Bronson was very cruel to Jiminy and at one point threw him off his boat, mistaking him for Sebastian Cabot. However, Jiminy was picked up in a boat by George Maharis, of the TV show Route 66, and his cousin, Leon Maharis. Leon asked Jiminy if he wanted to work with him at Chasen's in Beverly Hills, California, as a bus boy. Jiminy eagerly accepted the offer. While there, he ran into numerous Hollywood celebrities, such as Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Britney Spears, James Dean, and Charlton Heston. Then, one day, while catering a party at Roddy McDowall's house, George Schlatter from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, offered Jiminy a pilot episode deal for a daytime talk show that Jiminy accepted and started at the Beverly Garland 'Motel' (as opposed to the Beverly-Garland Hotel). And, as Jiminy has said, "that's how it all started." The daytime talk show was canceled when Beverly Garland herself came downstairs and, lacking sleep and thoroughly intoxicated, shouted to Jiminy and his crew to "get the hell out!" Later in his career, Jiminy moved to prime time.

In 1974, Jiminy worked for Telly Savalas as a personal assistant. Savalas was mean, so Jiminy embezzled $85,000 from him. Jiminy was caught on his way to Ecuador and ended up serving a four-month, hard labor sentence in Mississippi.[4]

Jiminy is currently married to a heavily medicated, alcoholic Southern woman named Dixie, portrayed by Saturday Night Live and Designing Women veteran, the late Jan Hooks. Together they have "four wonderfully strapping young boys": Morgan, Mason (named for actor Morgan Mason), Matthew, and Modine (named after actor Matthew Modine). Morgan and Mason are teenaged twins and Matthew and Modine are 10-year-old twins; in one episode Jiminy casually commented that they were actually triplets, but he sent away the third one because "two was so much already." The Glick family currently resides in Tarzana, California.

Dennis Miller describes Jiminy's life as "one big Cliff Note missing a page."

Jiminy is also an avid "pole vaulter," claiming that he did it in college and occasionally pole vaults with his wife, Dixie.

Jiminy was also given 400 Mutton patties as a gift from Ted Nugent for Christmas.[5]


On The Martin Short Show[edit]

In the show, Glick is a famous television interviewer who has been around Hollywood for a long time. Despite this, he remains laughably ignorant about pop culture and most entertainment news, though he considers himself just the opposite. For example, he'll often cite another celebrity with whom the interviewee apparently shares a birthday (but in reality does not) and ask how it makes them "feel." His interviews with stars are characterized by his patronizing attitude, frequent bizarre questions about obscure matters, awkward body language, and ultimately turning the subject matter to himself. He is extremely forgetful, and takes ginkgo biloba as a memory aid (although, as he often points out, the catch twenty-one [a play on words] is that he doesn't remember to take it). Glick is also very overweight, and during interviews he will sometimes aggressively stuff his face with junk food (which is always present on the table on set) at a moment's notice. Glick would occasionally offer food to his guests, but if they reached for it without being offered, he would snatch it away, growling, "No! All for me!" On top of his many other eccentricities, Glick has an unforgettably peculiar voice, shifting within a single sentence from a high, effeminate whine to a deep growl.

In Primetime Glick[edit]

On the series, Glick is joined by long-suffering, heavily made-up announcer and band leader, Adrian Van Voorhees (Michael McKean), who also resembles Lawrence Welk from the Lawrence Welk Show. Adrian plays a full classical harp, leading a band of scraggly-looking immigrants (they do a very poor job of synching up their "performance" with the music that is playing). While Adrian generally attempts to conduct himself in a professional manner, he occasionally loses his patience with Jiminy's idiocy and constant, usually unintentional put-downs. He can sometimes be heard muttering disgustedly about Jiminy ("You are fat...sloppy fat") but Jiminy remains blissfully unaware of Adrian's hostility.

Prior to his role on Primetime Glick, Adrian had been admiring Jiminy from afar for many years, but had been laid up with a skin condition, thus putting him out of work. He then began to send Jiminy fan letters and finally asked him for a job saying, "I think you need a harp." However, it was a typo and Jiminy thought Adrian said tarp. Jiminy was doing some work on his pool at the time, so he called Adrian back. While waiting for Jiminy's response, Adrian boarded the cruise ship S.S.S. Statadam, and conducted the cruise's band while on board. After Jiminy's search effort for Adrian upon the ship's return, he finally met up with him, exclaiming in an interview, "the next thing you know, Van Vorhees is part of the Glick world."

Glick is also often assailed by Short's long-running, Bette Davis-esque drag character, Miss Gathercole, a bitter, ancient woman who is a regular in Glick's studio audience (alongside her increasingly short-tempered nurse) and freely offers commentary on Glick's various failings and her own latest adventures. It was also said that another of Short's long-running characters, elderly vaudevillian Irving Cohen was the executive producer for Glick's primetime show. The mention was only for the span of a single episode where Cohen suffers from a heart attack and is presumed to be dead, with Jiminy offering video tributes to him until he calls the studio informing Jiminy he's okay.

In addition to the interviews, the show also featured many Second City TV-like parody commercials and Glick reading storybook tales to a group of young children, appropriately called, Lalawood Fables. These stories were usually Hollywood Babylon-like tales of Tinseltown degradation, acted out by puppets. However, most of his stories tend to go right over his young audience's heads. The show sometimes had a more fanciful side, as when the puppets would apparently come to life, such as, on two occasions when Jiminy and Jason Alexander spent too long in a steamroom and emerged dwarf-sized, and when Jiminy accidentally crushed Robert Downey Jr., also in Jiminy's steamroom.

Other appearances[edit]

In Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, Glick interviews (through complete improvisation) an audience volunteer tasked to become the show's "new star" after Martin Short is struck by lightning (a ploy to allow Short enough time to don the Jiminy Glick make-up).

Martin Short played the character in an episode of MADtv. An interactive, constantly updated website is kept by "Jiminy Glick" [1] filled with photos, video clips, commentary, blogs and postings from over 9,320 friends of Jiminy Glick...and Martin Short.

Short also portrayed the character for a week on the Whoopi Goldberg-produced era of Hollywood Squares, during a College Tournament in 2001; for the Finals of the Tournament he filled in as center square; other celebrities on that panel had also been center square, as Whoopi was out sick that week.

Martin Short also made an appearance as the character on the April 16th, 2005 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Tom Brady. He appeared as a guest on the Weekend Update segment plugging a fictitious "Best of Jiminy Glick" DVD, including a clip of Glick interviewing SNL creator Lorne Michaels (portrayed by Will Forte) supposedly shot in the 1970s. Glock then forcibly kisses Update anchor Tina Fey as the segment ends.

Glick appears in Maya & Marty interviewing celebrities which include Larry David, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld and Ricky Gervais.[6]