I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend

I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend



The Pequod Review:

There is an underlying sadness and regret to Martin Short's memoir I Must Say, due to both his own personal tragedies (his older brother and parents passed away before he was an adult, and he more recently lost his wife to cancer) and a sense that he never quite became the superstar he might have. Short finds a way to sprinkle in a lot of jokes throughout his story -- most of which don't land as funny in print as when he delivers them on stage -- but the overall tone suffers from this uneasiness. Still, the book has some very good sections on how Short created his various alter-egos (Jiminy Glick, Ed Grimley, etc.) and he even has a good appreciation for the strangeness of Canadian humor:

While Second City Chicago was often more pointedly topical and satirical, Second City Toronto’s material seemed to be more character-based and just plain strange. Canada is a sparsely populated nation, a mere 34 million people across a vast expanse of land. Consequently, as you grow up there, you encounter more weirdos who have been given a wider berth to stew in their weirdness and become gloriously eccentric. These are precisely the kind of folks who served as our comic muses in Toronto. On top of this, the performers in SC Toronto were a particularly nice, un-mean group, so the characterizations were sweet and empathetic rather than cruel.