I Must Say. Finished 1-12-16, rating 4.75/5, humor memoir, pub. 2014
Unabridged audio read perfectly by Martin Short himself. 8.5 hours
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.
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. from Goodreads
I need to say right off the bat that I’ve long been a fan. His energy is infectious and because of that I think you must listen to this one. Short is funny and sweet and you will love him. And if you aren’t familiar with Martin Short I think you should still pick this one up. Honestly, I laughed out loud and I cried for this man who, while bringing so much light to others, has dealt with deaths that came too soon.
Short grew up just outside of Toronto and during his senior year of college he decided to give comedy a year to see if he could make it. He landed a role in Godspell with his BFF Eugene Levy and met Paul Shaffer, Gilda Radnor and a slew of other Canadian pranksters: John Candy, Dan Ackroyd, Catherine O’Hara… I had no idea that so many successful comics started there and worked together at the same time. He landed a gig on Saturday Night Live that made him both a household name and miserable. He was lucky to last a year but it did get him to the big time.
His memoir also spans his Hollywood years (Three Amigos, Father of the Bride) and the many friendships he formed there. The spark he is on screen must carry over to real life because he has maintained friendships from the Toronto years (Levy & Shaffer) while becoming close with Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, and Kurt Russell and other famous pals. Actually it was him talking about these friendships and the love that he had for his wife of 30 years that enabled me to see a new side to Short, a genuine guy who loves and is loved
He is so upbeat that you will love his life story and the interludes with his most famous characters. As optimistic as he is, the part of the book dealing with his wife’s cancer will leave you in tears. Tears that I didn’t mind because they were part of his story.