Several weeks ago, I watched Steve Martin and Martin Short co-host Saturday Night Live. Martin has hosted the show 16 times and Short three times. Short was also a cast number.
On SNL, they read eulogies they wrote for each other:
“So Marty, I dedicate this eulogy to you,” Martin started. “Wow, not much of a turnout. Marty did not want to be cremated — too late. But I’ll always be haunted by Marty’s last words, ‘Tesla auto-pilot engage!’”
“There are so many good things I could say about Steve Martin but this hardly seems the time nor the place … I know Steve is looking down on us because he looked down on everybody.”
Martin and Short are one of the most successful comedy teams working today. They are everywhere, and why not? They tour, have a top-rated show on Hulu, a comedy special on Netflix An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, and have made films together.
Remember Three Amigos!, Father of the Bride I and II, and The Prince of Egypt? These are of course, films of Steve Martin and Martin Short.
They started touring together in 2015 in a comedy act entitled, “A Very Stupid Conversation,” but are probably more know to audiences for their Hulu series Only Murders in the Building, which they star and executive produce along with Selena Gomez. Season three is currently in development.
Friends since their first film together, they kid each other relentlessly in their act. “Steve is the star I’m fake closest to. Wait a second, did I just call Steve a friend? Oh no, you are so much more than just a friend. You, sir, are a business associate.”
They have appeared together, and to recognize each other, on talk shows, at award presentations and on SNL a few times.
Martin, 77, announced recently that he was looking at retirement, after the current Hulu series. That’s hard to fathom. Martin, started out as a writer for The Smothers Brothers, way back in the late 1960s. By the mid 1970s, he was a breakout star, a wild and crazy guy, who jumped from concerts to television, recordings and then many films over four decades. He’s had career ups and downs, but caught a big wave in recent years. He writes films, books, plays and has an extensive art collect. In 2022, he published Number One is Walking, an illustrated autobiography, of sorts.
Number One is Walking is a funny and engrossing read. I’m very familiar with Steve Martin’s career, yet I learned a few things from this book. One of the most interesting things about his career is how full-circle it has traveled. First he was a musical comedy performer and writer, then began a film career when he felt like stand-up years had peaked, then transitioned back to writing and musical performing when he felt the film thing had played out, and now is performing stand-up and a musical performer in a traveling show with Martin Short.
A prolific writer, Martin has authored a variety of books, from his plays and screenplays, his memoirs, his standup, novels and short stories, and children’s books.
And of course the comedy albums…
In addition, Martin is an accomplished banjo player, he released several recordings of songs, including two albums with Edie Brickell.
The films. What about his films? A future blog.
Martin Short, a young 72, started out on SCTV, a somewhat version of SNL, also popular for launching the careers of John Candy and Eugene Levy. Short is famous for his off-the-wall characters including Ed Grimley and Jiminy Glick, unfortunately, two characters I find very annoying. Sorry, Mr. Short.
After SCTV, Short went on the work in several television series like The Associates, before joining SNL in the mid-1980s for one season.
Film work eventually followed including Captain Ron, Three Fugitives, Pure Luck, the Father of the Bride films, The Big Picture, Jungle 2 Jungle, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, and Mars Attacks!.
Short is a sought-after voice actor, lending his vocal skills to many films, including: The Pebble and the Penguin, The Prince of Egypt, Treasure Planet, 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Frankenweenie, and The Wind Rises.
He has starred in comedy specials, had his own sitcom, talk show, reprised characters like Jiminy Glick for Comedy Central, his own variety show and joined several other TV shows as a regular. The guy gets around.
The careers of these two need more than just a blog for an appropriate overview. I cannot believe that both are in their 70s, which is a reminder to appreciate their current and hopefully upcoming projects. Their often goofy banter and characters are not everyone’s thing, but they possess a rare comedic connection that is deliciously creative and snarky.
“You have a perspective at this age that it’s not forever. So to feel great and healthy and have loved ones around you, you appreciate it,” Short said in an interview with Prevention magazine.