Short at PaleyFest 2014
|Birth name||Martin Hayter Short|
March 26, 1950 |
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
|Medium||Stand-up, film, television, theatre|
|Alma mater||McMaster University|
|Genres||Improvisational comedy, surreal humour, musical comedy, physical comedy, sketch comedy, character comedy, satire|
|Subject(s)||Canadian culture, American culture, current events, pop culture, human sexuality|
|Spouse||Nancy Dolman (m. 1980; her death 2010)|
Martin Hayter Short CM (born March 26, 1950) is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, singer, and producer. He is known for his work on the television programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live. He has starred in comedy films, such as Three Amigos (1986), Innerspace (1987), Three Fugitives (1989), Father of the Bride (1991), Pure Luck (1991), Father of the Bride Part II (1995), Mars Attacks! (1996) and Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), and created the characters, Jiminy Glick and Ed Grimley. In 1999, he won a Tony Award for his lead performance in a Broadway revival of Little Me.
Short was born in Hamilton, Ontario, the youngest of five children of Olive Grace (née Hayter; 1913–68), a concertmistress of the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra, and Charles Patrick Short (1909–70), a corporate executive with Stelco, a Canadian steel company. He and his siblings were raised as Catholics. He had three older brothers, David (now deceased), Michael, and Brian, and one older sister, Nora. Short's father was a Catholic immigrant from Crossmaglen, South Armagh who came to North America as a stowaway during the Irish War of Independence. Short's mother was of English and Irish descent. She encouraged his early creative endeavours. His eldest brother, David, was killed in a car accident in Montreal, Quebec in 1962 when Short was 12. His mother died of cancer in 1968, his father two years later of complications from a stroke.
When Short graduated from McMaster University, he intended to pursue a career in social work; however, he became interested in acting once he was cast in a Toronto production of Godspell that same year. Among other members of that production's cast were Victor Garber, Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, and Andrea Martin; Paul Shaffer was the musical director. He was subsequently cast in several television shows and plays, including the drama Fortune and Men's Eyes (1972). He worked solely in Canada through 1979. In 1979, Short starred in the U.S. sitcom The Associates about a group of young novice lawyers working at a Wall Street law firm. In 1980, he joined the cast of I'm a Big Girl Now, a sitcom starring Diana Canova and Danny Thomas. Canova was offered the sitcom because of her success playing Corinne Tate Flotsky on ABC's Soap and left Soap shortly before Short's newlywed wife Nancy Dolman joined it.
Short was encouraged to pursue comedy by McMaster classmates Eugene Levy and Dave Thomas, whom he joined in the improvisation group The Second City in Edmonton, Alberta in 1977. He came to public notice when the group produced a show for television, Second City Television or SCTV, which ran for several years in Canada, then the United States. Short appeared on SCTV in 1982–83. At SCTV, Short developed several characters before moving on to Saturday Night Live for the 1984–85 season:
- Talk show host Brock Linehan, based on the Canadian interviewer Brian Linehan
- Aged songwriter Irving Cohen, commonly thought to be loosely based on American composers Irving Caesar and/or Irving Berlin, but actually (according to Short in his autobiography) inspired by Sophie Tucker
- Entertainer Jackie Rogers, Jr.
- Current-events commentator Troy Soren
- Industrialist and art patron Bradley P. Allen
- Defense attorney Nathan Thurm
- Oddball man-child Ed Grimley, later featured on SNL and in his own short-lived animated television series in 1989 titled The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, the only animated series adapted from an SCTV character and a Saturday Night Live character.
Saturday Night Live
Short joined Saturday Night Live for the 1984–85 season. He helped revive the show with his many characters for season ten (the last one produced by Dick Ebersol). "Short's appearance on SNL helped to revive the show's fanbase, which had flagged after the departure of Eddie Murphy, and in turn, would launch his successful career in films and television." His SNL characters included numerous holdovers from his SCTV days. He also did impressions of such celebrities as Jerry Lewis and Katharine Hepburn.
In addition to his work on SCTV and SNL, Short has starred in several television specials and series of his own. In 1985, Short starred in the one-hour Showtime special, Martin Short: Concert for the North Americas. This was Short's first live concert, interspersed with studio sketches and a wraparound featuring Jackie Rogers Jr. Co-produced by the CBC, this aired as The Martin Short Comedy Special in Canada in March 1986. In 1989, Short headlined another one-hour comedy special, this time for HBO, I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood, Short's classic send-up of all things Hollywood. It featured many of his characters including Ed Grimley, Jackie Rogers Jr.
Short has had three television shows called The Martin Short Show, including a sitcom, The Martin Short Show, 1994; a sketch comedy show, The Show Formerly Known as the Martin Short Show, 1995; and a syndicated talk show The Martin Short Show, which ran from 1999 to 2000.
Short starred as Jiminy Glick on Comedy Central's Primetime Glick (2001–03). He interviewed performers and celebrities as the character Jiminy Glick. The New York Times in 2002 referred to the character as "the most unpredictable and hilariously uninhibited comic creation to hit TV since Bart Simpson was in diapers."
In addition to his own series, Short has guest starred on several shows including Arrested Development (episode titled "Ready, Aim, Marry Me", 2005), Muppets Tonight (1996), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Weeds. He joined the FX drama Damages as lawyer Leonard Winstone in 2010.
He shot a new comedy special for television in Toronto in September 2011. The special, I, Martin Short, Goes Home follows Martin's return to his native Hamilton, Ontario and has a cast that includes Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Joe Flaherty and Fred Willard. The special aired on CBC Television on April 3, 2012, and garnered Short a nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Program or Series at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards. In 2011, Short joined the cast of How I Met Your Mother for its seventh season, playing Marshall Eriksen's manic boss and was a judge on the first and only season of Canada's Got Talent (2012).
He, along with Steve Martin and Chevy Chase appeared on an episode of Saturday Night Live as part of the "Five-Timers Club", on March 9, 2013, which included those actors who had hosted the show five or more times. However, Short appeared as a waiter, as he had only hosted twice.
On May 31, 2016, Martin Short debuted a new variety show on NBC, Maya & Marty. In the initial show, Martin revived his Jiminy Glick character, his costar Maya Rudolph spoofed an American cooking show and in a skit poking fun at American politics, Miley Cyrus sang "I'm the Man" followed by a duet with Rudolph of "I'm a W-O-M-A-N." The show finished with a performance by the Shuffle Along dance troupe.
After doing sketch comedy for several years, Short starred in ¡Three Amigos!, Innerspace, The Big Picture, Captain Ron, Clifford, Three Fugitives (1989), directed by Francis Veber, with Nick Nolte and James Earl Jones, the 1991 remake of Father of the Bride and its sequel, and in Pure Luck (1991), directed by Nadia Tass, with Danny Glover and Sheila Kelley.
In 1996, he appeared in Tim Burton's sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks! as lascivious Press Secretary Jerry Ross. In 1997, he appeared as Wall Street broker Richard Kempster in Jungle 2 Jungle with Tim Allen.
Short also provided the voices of several animated film characters, such as Stubbs in We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993), Hubie in The Pebble and the Penguin (1995), Huy in The Prince of Egypt (1998) (alongside Steve Martin as Hotep), Ooblar in Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001), B.E.N. in Treasure Planet (2002), Thimbletack the Brownie in The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Stefano the sea lion in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) and The Jester in Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014).
Short is the host of a Walt Disney World attraction, O Canada!, a Circle-Vision 360° film at Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park. He also hosted the now-defunct show "The Making of Me" at Epcot's Wonders of Life pavilion, a 15-minute movie about how pregnancy occurs.
Short resumed work in the theater, playing a lead role in the 1993 musical version of the Neil Simon film The Goodbye Girl, on Broadway, receiving a Tony Award nomination and an Outer Critics Circle Award.
In 2003, Short took to the stage once again in the critically acclaimed Los Angeles run of The Producers. Short played the role of the accountant, Leo Bloom, opposite Jason Alexander's Max Bialystock. Although the role of Leo Bloom was originated on Broadway by Matthew Broderick, Mel Brooks first approached Short about doing the part opposite Nathan Lane. On the subject, Short has stated in numerous interviews that, while he was thrilled by the opportunity, the idea of having to move his family from their Los Angeles home to New York for a year was less than ideal and ultimately proved a deal-breaker.
Short performed in his satirical one-man show, with a cast of six, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. The show toured several cities in the spring of 2006, prior to opening on Broadway in August 2006; the show closed in January 2007. In it, he performed his classic characters Grimley, Cohen, and Glick.
As Glick, Short brought a member of the audience (usually a celebrity) on stage and interviewed him or her. Jerry Seinfeld was the guest on opening night. The show also featured parodies of many celebrities including Celine Dion, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Tommy Tune, Joan Rivers, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Renée Zellweger, Jodie Foster, Rachael Ray, and Short's wife, actress Nancy Dolman. The cast album was released on April 10, 2007, and is available from Ghostlight Records, an imprint of Sh-K-Boom Records.
Short has continued to tour in his one-man show, which features many of his best-loved characters and sketches. In addition to Fame Becomes Me, some titles that Short has used for his one-man show include Stroke Me Lady Fame, If I'd Saved, I Wouldn't Be Here, and Sunday in the Park with George Michael.
Short's memoir, covering his forty-year career in show business, "I Must Say: My Life as Humble Comedy Legend", was released on November 4, 2014.
Short dated Gilda Radner in the 1970s. He met Canadian comic actress Nancy Dolman in 1972 during the run of Godspell. The couple married in 1980. Dolman retired from show business in 1985 to be a stay-at-home mom and raise her family. Nancy Short died on August 21, 2010, from ovarian cancer. Short and Dolman adopted three children: Katherine (b. 1983), Oliver (b. 1986), and Henry (b. 1989).
Dolman's brother, screenwriter/director Bob Dolman, (who served as a part of SCTV's Emmy-winning writing team alongside Short), married their close friend and colleague Andrea Martin, also in 1980. Dolman and Short are aunt and uncle to the couple's two sons, Jack and Joe. Bob Dolman and Martin have since divorced. Short is a first cousin of Clare Short, a former member of the British Parliament and former British cabinet minister.
Short has actively campaigned for the Women's Research Cancer Fund, and he accepted a "Courage Award" on behalf of his late wife, who died from the disease in 2010, at a 2011 gala by the group.
|1979||Lost and Found||Engel|||
|1986||¡Three Amigos!||Ned Nederlander|
|1987||Cross My Heart||David Morgan|
|1989||Three Fugitives||Ned Perry|
|1989||The Big Picture||Neil Sussman – Nick's Agent||Uncredited|
|1991||Pure Luck||Eugene Proctor|
|1991||Father of the Bride||Franck Eggelhoffer|
|1992||Captain Ron||Martin Harvey|
|1993||We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story||Stubbs the Clown (voice)|
|1995||The Pebble and the Penguin||Hubie (voice)|
|1995||Father of the Bride Part II||Franck Eggelhoffer|
|1996||Mars Attacks!||Press Secretary Jerry Ross|
|1997||Jungle 2 Jungle||Richard Kempster|
|1997||A Simple Wish||Murray|||
|1998||The Prince of Egypt||Huy (voice)|
|1998||Akbar's Adventure Tours||Akbar|||
|2001||Get Over It||Dr. Desmond Forrest Oates|
|2001||Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius||Ooblar (voice)|
|2002||Treasure Planet||B.E.N. (voice)|
|2003||101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure||Lars (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2004||Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper||Preminger (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2004||Jiminy Glick in Lalawood||Jiminy Glick / David Lynch|
|2006||Khan Kluay||Khan Kluay (voice)||English dub|
|2006||The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause||Jack Frost|
|2008||The Spiderwick Chronicles||Thimbletack (voice)|
|2011||Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil||Kirk the Woodsman (voice)|
|2012||Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted||Stefano (voice)|
|2012||Frankenweenie||Edward Frankenstein / Mr. Bergermesiter / Nassor (voices)|||
|2013||Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return||Appraiser / Jester (voices)|||
|2013||The Wind Rises||Kurokawa (voice)||English dub|
|2014||Inherent Vice||Dr. Rudy Blatnoyd, D.D.S.|
|1972||Cucumber||Smokey the Hare||Episode: "Ecology ... Smokey the Hare"|
|1975||Peep Show||Episode: "Goldberg Is Waiting"|
|1976–77||The David Steinberg Show||Johnny Del Bravo||10 episodes|
|1978||For the Record||Weepy||Episode: "Cementhead"|
|1979||The Family Man||Louie||Television film|
|1979–80||The Associates||Tucker Kerwin||13 episodes|
|1980||The Love Boat||Melvin||Episode: "No Girls for Doc/Marriage of Convenience/The Caller/The Witness"|
|1980–81||I'm a Big Girl Now||Neal Stryker||14 episodes|
|1981||Taxi||Mitch Harris||Episode: "Jim Joins the Network"|
|1981–84||Second City Television||Various||Cast member|
|Saturday Night Live||Various||Cast member (18 episodes)
Guest appearances (4 episodes)
|1986||Tall Tales & Legends||Johnny Appleseed||Episode: "Johnny Appleseed"|
|1988||The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley||Ed Grimley / Emil Gustav / Moby / Sheldon / Irving Cohen / Additional voices||13 episodes|
|1989||Dink, The Little Dinosaur||Narrator|
|1989, 1990||The Tracey Ullman Show||Doc / The Elvis Freak / Lou / Football Fan||Episodes: "Needle in a Haystack" and "Dawg Day Afternoon"|
|1990||The Dave Thomas Comedy Show||Himself||Episode 4|
|1990||The Earth Day Special||Nathan Thurm||Television special|
|1991||Maniac Mansion||Eddie O'Donnell||Episode: "Down & Out in Cedar Springs"|
|1992||Favorite Songs||Mozart (voice)||Episode: "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"|
|1994||The Martin Short Show||Marty Short||8 episodes|
|1996||Muppets Tonight||Himself||Episode: "Martin Short"|
|1999||Alice in Wonderland||Mad Hatter / Chinless Idiot||Television film|
|1999–2000||The Martin Short Show||Himself (host)||63 episodes|
|2001–03||Primetime Glick||Jiminy Glick / Miss Gathercole / Various||30 episodes|
|2002||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Himself||Episode: "The Terrorist Attack"|
|2005||Arrested Development||Uncle Jack||Episode: "Ready, Aim, Marry Me"|
|2005||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sebastian Ballentine / Henry Palaver||Episode: "Pure"|
|2007||Bob & Doug McKenzie's Two-Four Anniversary||Himself||Television special|
|2010||Damages||Leonard Winstone / Lester Wiggin||13 episodes (Season 3)|
|2010–13||The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!||The Cat in the Hat (voice)||61 episodes|
|2011||Weeds||Steward Havens||3 episodes|
|2011–12||How I Met Your Mother||Garrison Cootes||3 episodes|
|2012||Canada's Got Talent||Himself (host)||Season 1; 22 episodes|
|2013, 2014||Hollywood Game Night||Himself||2 episodes|
|2014||Working the Engels||Charles "Chuck" Pastry||Episode: "Jenna vs. Big Pastry"|
|2014–15||Mulaney||Louis "Lou" Cannon||15 episodes|
|2015||Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt||Dr. Grant (pronounced "Franff")||Episode: "Kimmy Goes to the Doctor"|
|2015||Difficult People||Himself||Episode: "Pledge Week"|
|2016||Maya & Marty||Himself|
|2016||Hairspray Live!||Wilbur Turnblad||Live musical telecast|
|2016||Modern Family||Mervin "Merv" Schechter||Episode "Blindsided"|
|2017||Transformers: Rescue Bots||TBA (voice)||Season 5|
|1993||The Goodbye Girl||Elliot|
|2006–2007||Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me||Himself|
|2015||It's Only a Play||James Wicker|
- I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend (2014, autobiography)
Awards and honours
- 1982: Nelly Award: Outstanding Writing, SCTV Comedy Network
- 1983: Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program, SCTV Comedy Network
- 1993: Outer Critics Circle Award: Outstanding Actor in a Musical, The Goodbye Girl
- 1993: Theater World Award
- 1993: Nominated for Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical
- 1994: Member of the Order of Canada
- 1995: Earl Grey Lifetime Achievement Award
- 1999: Sir Peter Ustinov Award awarded at the Banff Television Festival
- 1999: Outer Critics Circle Award: Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Little Me
- 1999: Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, Little Me
- 2000: Canada's Walk of Fame
- 2001: Awarded honorary Doctor of Literature from McMaster University
- 2002: Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
- 2010: Nominated for Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Damages
- 2010: Nominated for Satellite Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Damages
- 2011: Nominated for Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer In An Animated Program, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
- 2012: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
- 2015: A stamp issued by Canada Post
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- Harris, Bill. "More 'Talent' judges announced" Toronto Sun, October 17, 2011
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- Dargis, Manola. " 'The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause' Review" movies.nytimes.com, accessed August 25, 2013
- Kennedy, Lisa. "Movie review: "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" delights as furry friends and a frenzied foes return" Denver Post, June 4, 2012
- "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return". Common Sense Media Inc. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Internet Broadway Database listing, 'The Goodbye Girl'" Internet Broadway Database, retrieved May 21, 2010
- Rich, Frank."Review/Theater; How Far Two Good Sports Will Go", The New York Times, March 5, 1993
- "Martin Short Broadway Credits and Awards" playbillvault.com, accessed 6 November 2016
- Haun, Harry."Little Me Gives Martin Short His 3rd Neil Simon Role" playbill.com, September 14, 1998
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- "Internet Broadway database listing, 'Little Me'" Internet Broadway Database, retrieved May 21, 2010
- Jones, Kenneth."Alexander and Short Join Producers Tour in San Fran, April 21–26 Before L.A. Sitdown" March 25, 2003
- Perlmutter, Sharon."Review: The Producers" in Los Angeles talkinbroadway.com, retrieved May 21, 2010
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- "Akbar's Adventure Tors". Theiapolis.com. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Prince Charming". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "CinéMagique". Disneyland Paris. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
- "Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper - Preminger". Behind the Voiceovers. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
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- "Right On". Canadian Communications Foundation. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
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- "Episodes - After SCTV Spinoffs, specials, commercials and related ephemera". SCTVGuide. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- "Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Terrorist Attack". HBO. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
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- "15th Annual Satellite Awards Announced". chinokino.com. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
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- "It's an Honour". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
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- David Camp, "The Cat's Meow: Martin Short has never carried a hit movie or a long-running sitcom. Early on, he despaired at being left behind by friends such as Paul Shaffer, Gilda Radner, and Bill Murray. But at 62 he stands alone in the comedy firmament, adored by Hollywood’s elite as the funniest, nicest, best of them all," Vanity Fair, January 2013.
- Short, Martin (2014). I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend. Harper. ISBN 978-0062309525.
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