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I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend

by Martin Short

Other authors: David Kamp

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4533954,089 (4.01)19
Biography & Autobiography. Performing Arts. Nonfiction. HTML:

In this engagingly witty, wise, and heartfelt memoir, Martin Short tells the tale of how a showbiz obsessed kid from Canada transformed himself into one of Hollywood's favorite funnymen, known to his famous peers as the "comedian's comedian."

Short takes the reader on a rich, hilarious, and occasionally heartbreaking ride through his life and times, from his early years in Toronto as a member of the fabled improvisational troupe Second City to the all-American comic big time of Saturday Night Live, and from memorable roles in such movies as ¡Three Amigos! and Father of the Bride to Broadway stardom in Fame Becomes Me and the Tony-winning Little Me.

He reveals how he created his most indelible comedic characters, among them the manic man-child Ed Grimley, the slimy corporate lawyer Nathan Thurm, and the bizarrely insensitive interviewer Jiminy Glick. Throughout, Short freely shares the spotlight with friends, colleagues, and collaborators, among them Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, Gilda Radner, Mel Brooks, Nora Ephron, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Paul Shaffer, and David Letterman.

But there is another side to Short's life that he has long kept private. He lost his eldest brother and both parents by the time he turned twenty, and, more recently, he lost his wife of thirty years to cancer. In I Must Say, Short talks for the first time about the pain that these losses inflicted and the upbeat life philosophy that has kept him resilient and carried him through.

In the grand tradition of comedy legends, Martin Short offers a show-business memoir densely populated with boldface names and rife with retellable tales: a hugely entertaining yet surprisingly moving self-portrait that will keep you laughingâ??and cryingâ??from the first page to the last.

Special Lyrics for "It's The Most Wonderful Show of the Year" and "Picture-Perfect Christmas In The Palisades" by Martin Short, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman; Special Lyrics for "Marty Throws a Party Just To Sing" by Marc Shaim… (more)

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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
I didn't know too much about Short's career beyond Ed Grimley and The Three Amigos going into this read. By far the most touching parts of this book are when Short talks about his family and his wife, Nancy. ( )
  CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
I've enjoyed what movies of Martin's I've seen so I'm not suprised I found his memoir funny as well. It's interesting to hear about how he got his start and the genuine friendships he's made with other stars such as Eugene Levy, Steve Martin, and Tom Hanks. What was surprising is how much loss Martin has suffered and how strongly he's moved through it, when it might bring many of us down.

I haven't really watched any of his sketch comedy, but for those interested the book contains excerpts about and from the perspective of his more famous characters, if that's of interest.

I'm thinking that if you like him as an actor/comedian and you enjoy memoirs, you'll like this one. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Feb 16, 2023 |
I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook version partly because Martin Short narrated it himself and just hearing his upbeat presentation was enough to put a smile on my face. Like me, Short was (and still is) Canadian, and he delivers his account with usual Canuck matter-of-factness, hitting all the high notes of sincerity and never veering into nastiness. That I could relate to and enjoy as well.

Martin Short has lived a remarkable life, yet he seems not to really know it. Even when he name-drops, he does it in such a way that it feels ordinary. And talk about high energy! He cracks jokes throughout and even breaks into song at some points. Yet, when he talks about his wife, Nancy, you sense his love and devotion to her, and then later, the depth of his loss when she is taken too soon.

I rode the highs and lows of Martin Short's life, never losing interest. Needless to say, I highly recommend this book. ( )
  larvest | Jul 2, 2022 |
I love Marty Short, but didn’t realize the extent of the personal tragedies he’s endured. Through the sadness were many truly funny moments and stories about his famous friends. I was always a huge fan of SCTV and I enjoyed this book. ( )
  wnhastings | Apr 28, 2022 |
3.5 stars. Martin Short is a likeable guy who knows some very famous people. His clear love for what he does and for his family shines through. The last two chapters, where he discusses his wife's illness and death, were very moving.

Reading this book also reminded me of just how out there some of his characters were. My teenage daughter uses the phrase "I must say" with great regularity. About the time I finished the book, I really became aware of how often she says it. She'd never heard of Ed Grimley, so we looked up a YouTube video in which he was featured. Now she says it with Ed Grimley's inflection. It never fails to make me smile. ( )
  tsmom1219 | Feb 24, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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Kamp, Davidsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Biography & Autobiography. Performing Arts. Nonfiction. HTML:

In this engagingly witty, wise, and heartfelt memoir, Martin Short tells the tale of how a showbiz obsessed kid from Canada transformed himself into one of Hollywood's favorite funnymen, known to his famous peers as the "comedian's comedian."

Short takes the reader on a rich, hilarious, and occasionally heartbreaking ride through his life and times, from his early years in Toronto as a member of the fabled improvisational troupe Second City to the all-American comic big time of Saturday Night Live, and from memorable roles in such movies as ¡Three Amigos! and Father of the Bride to Broadway stardom in Fame Becomes Me and the Tony-winning Little Me.

He reveals how he created his most indelible comedic characters, among them the manic man-child Ed Grimley, the slimy corporate lawyer Nathan Thurm, and the bizarrely insensitive interviewer Jiminy Glick. Throughout, Short freely shares the spotlight with friends, colleagues, and collaborators, among them Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, Gilda Radner, Mel Brooks, Nora Ephron, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Paul Shaffer, and David Letterman.

But there is another side to Short's life that he has long kept private. He lost his eldest brother and both parents by the time he turned twenty, and, more recently, he lost his wife of thirty years to cancer. In I Must Say, Short talks for the first time about the pain that these losses inflicted and the upbeat life philosophy that has kept him resilient and carried him through.

In the grand tradition of comedy legends, Martin Short offers a show-business memoir densely populated with boldface names and rife with retellable tales: a hugely entertaining yet surprisingly moving self-portrait that will keep you laughingâ??and cryingâ??from the first page to the last.

Special Lyrics for "It's The Most Wonderful Show of the Year" and "Picture-Perfect Christmas In The Palisades" by Martin Short, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman; Special Lyrics for "Marty Throws a Party Just To Sing" by Marc Shaim

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