Book review: I Must Say, by Martin Short.

images-1Have you ever read a biography and wished that the author was your friend, a guy you could call up and shoot the breeze with, or hang out with at his place?

That’s the way I feel after reading Hamilton-born comic Martin Short’s alternately hilarious and heart wrenching book, I Must Say.

I’ve always been a fan, so it comes as no surprise that the book is laugh-out-loud funny. Short is simply one of the great comic minds of his generation, creating a rogues gallery of grotesque but wonderful characters like uber-nerd Ed Grimley and clueless and rude interviewer Jiminy Glick. He was brilliant on SCTV (Jackie Rogers Jr. and Lawrence Orbach get their due in the book) and shone on one season of Saturday Night Live. He never achieved major film stardom (his film Clifford was a notorious flop, now a cult fave), but found his true calling on stage, winning a Tony award. His talk show appearances, particularly on David Letterman, are unfailingly wonderful.

Another reason I wish I was friends with Marty Short would be that I would get to know HIS friends. Among his best buds are Tom Hanks and Steve Martin, and c’mon, who wouldn’t want to be friends with these guys? Along the way, Short has encounters with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Katherine Hepburn and other legendary figures, none of which go well for him, but great for us because they’re hilarious.

But the surprise of I Must Say comes when Short writes about the tragedies in his life, and this man has had more than his share. He lost both parents and a brother before he was 20. Most painfully, he lost Nancy, his wife of 30-plus years, in 2010. He writes about ‘Nan’ with a tenderness and pain that you can feel through the pages. His attitude towards the pain he has experienced is quite inspiring.

I Must Say is a terrific read, I can’t recommend it enough. Oh, and Marty (I can call you Marty, right?). If you’re reading this, let’s hang some time, I must say.

5 thoughts on “Book review: I Must Say, by Martin Short.

  1. Hi Maurice,

    I’m responding more or less as a way to let you know that some of us out here REALLY enjoy reading your thoughts and opinions. Have done so for years! I too just finished reading “I Must Say” over Christmas. What an enjoyable read and what a wonderful man Martin Short is.
    BTW, I also read another book you recommended called “Fat, Salt, Sugar” and it too was an good read.
    Keep up the great work and keep those posts coming. One last thought: consider compiling your posts from over the years into a book. I’d buy it.

    Sincerely,

    Scott Forbes

  2. I was on a fishing trip in Q.C. last week, my brother in-law brought this book, and suggested I read. I picked it up and could not put it down, finished it the same day. Marty saved a few fish this day.

    I remember Marty from McMaster days 1972, and later on seen him perform at Second City in Toronto.

    Your review was spot on. A humble Canadian, I hope he gets the Order of Canada.

    David

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