Good gravy, I can’t recommend this book enough! Entertaining, hilarious, poignant, inspiring. I’m an avid Martin Short fan, having discovered him at an early age when SCTV (Second City TV) was still on the air (first on NBC then on Cinemax). Reading this book is like reminiscing in that I saw many of the shows and movies he describes. And let me warn you, it’s written just as Martin Short speaks, so you’ll be laughing out loud (so cliched) as you read it. In fact, I found it a bit embarrassing reading the book on a plane or a quiet place because I could not help blurting out some really big laughs. You have been warned!
The book takes you from his childhood right through to 2014 and it’s filled with stories of him just starting to dream about being a big star, while performing his own stage shows at his Canadian home, all the way to mixing and performing (and living) with some of the funniest people to come from the early 70’s and 80’s. This include Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Dave Thomas, Paul Schaffer, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Tom Hanks, Rick Moranis, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, John Candy and on and on… There’s a story behind meeting each person, in addition to detailed descriptions of the workings of Saturday Night Live (he was there for a year) and excerpts from various presentations and songs he presented routinely.
To make the book even more entertaining, Short has interludes of both pictures from his childhood and career and sections “written” by some of his characters. There’s a whole section written by Ed Grimley, I must say!
What is really interesting is how he managed to make it through some very terrible times in his life, not the least of which is the passing of his wife (Nancy or “Nan”) and kept a positive attitude all along the way. He lays out his 9 guidelines or check-lists for life and all-in-all, this book turns out to be very inspiring.
Now in his sixties, he discusses his feelings on entertainment and what he would like to do in this last chapter of his life (hint: NOT slow down). He talks about how his children used the death of their mother as something to help them through the rest of their lives (if you can make it through such a terrible situation, there is really nothing to fear in the rest of your life).
All in all a quick read at just over 300 pages. I think the only thing better would be to pick up the audio version of his book, since he narrates that himself. I listened to a sample and it sounded great.
As Ed Grimley would say, “Awww, this book is just fantastic; it’s just the best and makes me as happy as happy can be. Darn it, I say visit your local book merchant and pick it up and sit down, fella, and read it from front to back. It’ll make you thank your stars, I must say!”
5 out of 5 bananas.