A few weeks ago, Jamal Murray’s commitment to UK continued a fairly consistent trend of having a Canadian connection to UK athletics. Murray’s participation and success with the Canadian Pan Am team has even created some rooting interest among UK fans for our neighbors to the north. This love for Canada may be a new sensation for some, but I feel like I’ve been rooting for a Canadian export most of my life, mostly through pop culture. As a kid I grew up as Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, and Shania Twain were big. As I became a teenager I was introduced to Ryan Reynolds, Tom Green, Ryan Gosling, and so on. Once I got into college I was introduced to some that I just missed out on as a kid: John Candyand Eugene Levy; while also being introduced to a new wave of Canadian talent: Seth Rogan, Michael Cera, Ellen Page, among others.
One Canadian star which I have recently become insanely fond of is Martin Short. I’ve always enjoyed Martin Short, but until I recently
read his book listened to his audiobook, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend, I didn’t realize how much I enjoy his work and how severely I had underrated him. To me, Short had been primarily three things: Ned Nederlander (The Three Amigos), Uncle Jack (Arrested Development), and Jiminy Glick. I knew him from other movies and TV specials (looking at you Merlin), but I didn’t really appreciate his body of work. After reading I Must Say, I was introduced to some of his other characters: Ed Grimley, Nathan Thurm, Jackie Rogers Jr. and more. I Youtubed some of the sketches and they were golden, just golden. In addition to his sketch characters I was also introduced to the versatility of his career, which has spanned TV, film, and stage. Most surprisingly to me was his ability to do impressions.
The true greatness of the book, and what ultimately caused my Short fandom to grow, was his ability to weave a true narrative of his life through his stories and experiences. I’ve read and seen biographies about celebrities but they always struck me as being in sort of a different universe. Short’s story, though filled with celebrity references and tales of things I will likely never do, was far more relatable than most of the others I’ve read. He has a lot of stories about him and his close friends, Steve Martin and Tom Hanks. At first glance that sentence seems like it would just be an opportunity for him to brag about his friendships with other celebrities. To hear the stories, though, his relationships with those guys are not unlike my relationships with my friends. If I replace the words St. Bart’s with <insert hot vacation spot for Kentuckians, ah, Gatlinburg!>, then the stories are essentially the same.
When it comes to biographies, there are a lot of different paths to take. Those of you who are looking for an uplifting story about a celebrity who places happiness above all else, look no further. For Short this meant time spent with family, friends, and doing work which fulfilled him, even when it meant turning big opportunities down. The book is also filled with great stories and some good insights. Prior to
reading listening (by the way the audio book is read by Short) I enjoyed Martin Short because I just thought he was funny. Now I have more go-to Youtube videos to look up, a better appreciation for what it means to be successful, and how a greased up hairdo can launch a crazy career in showbiz.