Ed Grimley

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Ed Grimley
First appearance"Indecent Exposure - SCTV Movie of the Week: The Nutty Lab Assistant"
November 12, 1982
Created byMartin Short
Portrayed byMartin Short
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Ed Grimley
First appearance"Indecent Exposure - SCTV Movie of the Week: The Nutty Lab Assistant"
November 12, 1982
Created byMartin Short
Portrayed byMartin Short

Edward Mayhoff 'Ed' Grimley is a fictional character created and portrayed by Martin Short. Developed amongst The Second City improv comedy troupe, Grimley made his television debut on the sketch comedy show SCTV in 1982, leading to popular success for both Short and the persona. Short continued to portray Grimley on Saturday Night Live and in various other appearances. The character also starred in the 1988 animated series The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley.


Concept and Creation

Martin Short originated the character on Toronto's Second City stage as an unnamed school parent in a sketch. Originally, his hair was simply very greasy and unkempt, but another cast member joked offstage that the height of the hair seemed to increase with each performance. As an inside joke, Short started greasing it straight up. Short noticed an incidental baring of his teeth raised laughs; that too became a character trait. Over numerous appearances, the character of Ed Grimley began to take shape.

Ed Grimley is an excessively cowlicked, hyperactive manchild who is obsessed with banal popular culture, particularly Wheel of Fortune and its host, Pat Sajak. He also loves to play the triangle, which for him consists of playing a recorded musical piece, striking the triangle once, and then wildly dancing to the recording.


Short was added to the cast of Second City's television offshoot SCTV in 1982, debuting the Ed Grimley character in the skit "SCTV Movie of the Week: The Nutty Lab Assistant". Grimley became a SCTV fixture, appearing in the various shows, commercials, promos, and "behind-the-scenes" dramas that made up the fictional channel's programming. After the show's end in 1984, Short moved to the more prominent Saturday Night Live, bringing his breakout character with him.

Martin Short's best-known original character, his popularity on SNL proved to be the springboard to a long career in film and TV. He appeared as Ed Grimley in his 1985 Showtime special Martin Short: Concert For the North Americas, at Comic Relief 1986, and in 1989's I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood. Grimley became a cartoon character in Hanna-Barbera's 1988 animated series The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, featuring Second City colleagues Joe Flaherty (also reprising his SCTV character, Count Floyd), Catherine O'Hara and Andrea Martin as series regulars.

Short briefly revived the Ed Grimley role in his 1995 series The Show Formerly Known As the Martin Short Show, for a spoof of the comedy film Dave, and appeared again in a 1996 episode of Muppets Tonight, in which Grimley marries Miss Piggy to obtain an $85 inheritance from his deceased great-uncle. The character seemingly died later that year on Saturday Night Live, in the skit "Ed Grimley in Heaven" (though Grimley is brought back to life by his guardian angel [played by guest star Chevy Chase] after showing a video of Ed Grimley's life and commenting that he needs to do more with it before he can come back to Heaven). Grimley would however make a number of appearances in 1999's The Martin Short (Talk) Show.

Ed Grimley made a brief onstage appearance, triangle in hand, in the 2006 Broadway show Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. He appeared again in 2009's Let Freedom Hum: An Evening of Comedy Hosted By Martin Short.

The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley

The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley
GenreCartoon series
Directed byJim Drake
Bob Goe
Don Lusk
Paul Sommer
StarringJoe Flaherty
Voices ofMartin Short
Andrea Martin
Catherine O'Hara
Frank Welker
Jonathan Winters
Composer(s)Michael Tavera
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producer(s)William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Freddy Monnickendam
Martin Short
Producer(s)John Hays
Scott Shaw
Mark Young
Running time30 min.
Production company(s)Hanna-Barbera Productions
Original channelNBC
Audio formatStereo
Original runSeptember 10, 1988 (1988-09-10) – December 3, 1988 (1988-12-03)
Related showsSCTV
Saturday Night Live

The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley is a 1988 animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera starring Martin Short's Ed Grimley as well as other characters and actors from Second City's SCTV. Only one season of 13 episodes was produced. Despite the short run, the show is the only Saturday morning animated adaptation of both an SCTV character and a Saturday Night Live character.

Episodes featured Ed Grimley in adventures, which start out as mundane, but turn very surreal and cartoonish, interspersed with science lessons from The Amazing Gustav Brothers, Roger and Emil, and a live-action segment with a "scary story" presented as a show-within-a-show by Grimley's favorite television host, SCTV's Count Floyd (played by SCTV cast member Joe Flaherty). Grimley's fellow cartoon characters included Grimley's landlord Leo Freebus (voiced by Jonathan Winters), Leo's wife Deidre (Andrea Martin), his ditzy, amateur actress neighbor Ms. Malone (voiced by Catherine O'Hara; a female character by the name of Ms. Malone did appear on an SNL version of an Ed Grimley sketch on the season ten episode hosted by Alex Karras, but Ms. Malone was played by that episode's musical guest Tina Turner), and her little brother, Wendell.

Guest stars on the show included Christopher Guest and SCTV alumni Eugene Levy and Dave Thomas. The show also featured the voices of René Auberjonois, Kenneth Mars, and Arte Johnson from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

While not renewed for a second season, the show was seen in reruns in 1996 on Cartoon Network's unnamed pre-Adult Swim-era late-night programming block, which consisted of such shows as Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, reruns of Looney Tunes cartoon shorts, and repeats of old Hanna-Barbera shows from the 1960s and '70s. Hanna-Barbera sponsored an "Ed Grimley Look-A-Like Contest" midway through the first season, which was won by 10-year-old Matt Mitchell from Des Moines, Iowa.


TitleOriginal airdate
1"Tall, Dark and Hansom"1988 September 10
Ed fills in for his cousin driving a hansom cab, and ends up in a horse race.
2"Ed's Debut"1988 September 17
Ed mistakenly thinks he is asked to play triangle for the philharmonic and on the way to the concert hall is arrested and imprisoned for a bank robbery he did not commit.
3"E.G., Go Home"1988 September 24
Ed and his friend Wendall go on an amusement park rocket ride, taking them to another planet which is ruled by an alien queen with a voice like Bette Davis.
4"Ed's in Hot Water"1988 October 1
Looking after the apartment building for his landlady Deidre Freebus while she and her husband are on vacation, Ed causes a huge flood which sends him out to sea where he meets up with long, lost aviatrix Hillary Black Smythe, who acts and sounds like Kate Hepburn.
5"Crate Expectations"1988 October 8
Ed gets trapped in a crate while trying to get a birthday present for Miss Malone.
6"Grimley, P.F.C."1988 October 15
In the wrong line to return a library book, Ed joins the Army and ends up second banana to a Bob Hope-like USO performer (voiced by Dave Thomas).
7"Moby Is Lost"1988 October 22
Moby, Ed's pet goldfish, is missing and Ed hires a television-obsessed sea captain to lead the search.
8"Good Neighbor Ed"1988 October 29
Ed wins a contest but to fulfill the contest rules he needs to take a picture of all of his neighbors.
9"Driver Ed"1988 November 5
Miss Malone needs to learn how to drive and calls upon Ed to teach her, but an accident turns the two into wandering spirits who need to return to the mortal world.
10"Blowin' in the Wind"1988 November 12
Ed is caught up in the same tornado that sent Dorothy to Oz, only he ends up on the farm with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry where a traveling summer stock show, with a Jerry Lewis-like director, are hoping for a shot at Broadway.
11"Eyewitness Ed"1988 November 19
Needing hot dog franks for a party, Ed makes a run to the store, which resembles the Bates Motel, and witnesses Der Bingle rob the proprietor (voiced by Eugene Levy) for which he testifies and must go into the Witness Protection Program.
12"Eddy, We Hardly Knew Ye"1988 November 26
Needing his tonsils out, Ed goes into the hospital where his roommate is a werewolf (voiced by Christopher Guest).
13"The Irving Who Came to Dinner"1988 December 3
Irving Cohen pays a visit and helps Ed reveal a couple of hucksters.

Additional voices

See also

External links