Martin Short

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Martin Short
Martin Short - September 2014 (cropped).jpg
Short at the The Fox Preview for Mulaney & Red Band Society in September 2014
BornMartin Hayter Short
(1950-03-26) March 26, 1950 (age 64)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
ResidencePacific Palisades, California
NationalityCanadian American
EducationWestdale Secondary School
Alma materMcMaster University
OccupationComedian, actor, screenwriter, singer, producer, voice actor
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)Nancy Dolman (m. 1980–2010)
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For the author of the same name, see Martin Short (author).
Martin Short
Martin Short - September 2014 (cropped).jpg
Short at the The Fox Preview for Mulaney & Red Band Society in September 2014
BornMartin Hayter Short
(1950-03-26) March 26, 1950 (age 64)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
ResidencePacific Palisades, California
NationalityCanadian American
EducationWestdale Secondary School
Alma materMcMaster University
OccupationComedian, actor, screenwriter, singer, producer, voice actor
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)Nancy Dolman (m. 1980–2010)

Martin Hayter Short, CM (born March 26, 1950) is a Canadian American actor,[1] comedian, writer, singer, voice actor and producer. He is best known for his comedy work, particularly on the TV programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live. He starred in such comedic films as Three Amigos (1986), Innerspace (1987), Father of the Bride (1991), Pure Luck (1991), Father of the Bride Part II (1995), Mars Attacks! (1996), and Jungle 2 Jungle (1997) and created the characters of Jiminy Glick and Ed Grimley. He also has appeared on stage, and won the Tony Award for the 1999 Broadway revival of Little Me.

Early life[edit]

Short was born in Hamilton, Ontario, the youngest of five children of Olive Grace Hayter (1913–70), a violinist, and Charles Patrick Short (1909–72), a corporate executive with Stelco, a Canadian steel company. He and his siblings were raised as Catholics.[2] He had three older brothers, David (now deceased), Michael, and Brian, and one older sister, Nora.[3][4] Short's father was a Catholic immigrant from Crossmaglen, South Armagh (present-day Northern Ireland), who came to North America as a stowaway during the Irish War of Independence.[5][6] Short's mother served as concertmistress of the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra, and was of English and Irish descent.[7] She encouraged Martin's early creative endeavours.[2] His eldest brother, David, was killed in a car accident in 1962 when Short was 12. His mother died of cancer in 1970, his father two years later of complications from a stroke.[8]

Short attended Westdale Secondary School and graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work in 1971.[9]


Early career[edit]

When Short graduated from McMaster University, he intended to pursue a career in social work; however, he became interested in acting once he was cast in a Toronto production of Godspell that same year.[10] Among other members of that production's cast were Victor Garber, Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, and Andrea Martin; Paul Shaffer was the musical director.[11] He was subsequently cast in several television shows and plays, including the drama Fortune and Men's Eyes (1972).[11] He worked solely in Canada through 1979. In 1979, Short starred in the U.S. sitcom The Associates about a group of young novice lawyers working at a Wall Street law firm. In 1980, he joined the cast of I'm a Big Girl Now, a sitcom starring Diana Canova and Danny Thomas.[12] Canova was offered the sitcom because of her success playing Corinne Tate Flotsky on ABC's Soap and left Soap shortly before Short's newlywed wife Nancy Dolman joined it.


Short was encouraged to pursue comedy by McMaster classmates Eugene Levy and Dave Thomas, whom he joined in the improvisation group The Second City in Edmonton, Alberta in 1977.[10] He came to public notice when the group produced a show for television, Second City Television or SCTV, which ran for several years in Canada, then the United States. Short appeared on SCTV in 1982–1983.[10] At SCTV Short developed several characters before moving on to Saturday Night Live for the 1984–1985 season:

Saturday Night Live[edit]

Short joined Saturday Night Live in 1984–1985.[13] He helped revive the show with his many characters for the show's tenth season (the last one produced by Dick Ebersol). "Short's appearance on SNL helped to revive the show's fanbase, which had flagged after the departure of Eddie Murphy, and in turn, would launch his successful career in films and television."[12] His SNL characters included manic man-child and Wheel of Fortune fan Ed Grimley, which he borrowed from his SCTV days. He also did impressions of such celebrities as Jerry Lewis and Katharine Hepburn.[13]


In addition to his work on SCTV and SNL, Short has starred in several television specials and series of his own. In 1985, Short starred in the one-hour Showtime special, Martin Short: Concert for the North Americas.[14] This was Short's first live concert, interspersed with studio sketches and a wraparound featuring Jackie Rogers Jr. Co-produced by the CBC, this aired as The Martin Short Comedy Special in Canada in March 1986. In 1989, Short headlined another one-hour comedy special, this time for HBO, I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood, Short's classic send-up of all things Hollywood. It featured many of his characters including: Ed Grimley, Jackie Rogers Jr.[15]

Short has had three television shows called The Martin Short Show, including a sitcom, The Martin Short Show, 1994; a sketch comedy show, The Show Formerly Known as the Martin Short Show, 1995; and a syndicated talk show The Martin Short Show, which ran from 1999 to 2000.[16]

Short starred as Jiminy Glick on Comedy Central's Primetime Glick (2001–03). He interviewed performers and celebrties as the character Jiminy Glick.[17] The character was called "the most unpredictable and hilariously uninhibited comic creation to hit TV since Bart Simpson was in diapers."[18]

In addition to his own series, Short has guest starred on several shows including Arrested Development (episode titled "Ready, Aim, Marry Me", 2005), Muppets Tonight (1996),[19] Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Weeds. He joined the FX drama Damages as lawyer Leonard Winstone in 2010.[20]

Short voices the Cat in the Hat in The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! on the Public Broadcasting Service in 2010.[21]

He shot a new comedy special for television in Toronto in September 2011.[22] The special, I, Martin Short, Goes Home follows Martin's return to his native Hamilton, Ontario and has a cast that includes Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Joe Flaherty and Fred Willard. The special aired on CBC Television on April 3, 2012, and garnered Short a nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Program or Series at the 1st Canadian Screen Awards. In 2011, Short joined the cast of How I Met Your Mother for its seventh season, playing Marshall Eriksen's manic boss[23] and was a judge on the first and only season of Canada's Got Talent (2012).[24]

He, along with Steve Martin and Chevy Chase appeared on an episode of Saturday Night Live as part of the "Five-Timers Club", on March 9, 2013, which is all of the those who have hosted the show for five or more times. However, Short appeared as a waiter, as he has only hosted twice.[25][26]

Beginning on October 5, 2014,[27] Short stars in the Fox sitcom, Mulaney, where he will play the boss of the show's central character, played by creator, writer and producer John Mulaney.


After doing sketch comedy for several years, Short focused on film—appearing in ¡Three Amigos!, Innerspace, The Big Picture, Captain Ron, Clifford, Three Fugitives (1989), directed by Francis Veber, with Nick Nolte and James Earl Jones, the 1991 remake of Father of the Bride, and its sequel, and in Pure Luck (1991), directed by Nadia Tass, with Danny Glover and Sheila Kelley.[28]

Hosting Broadway on Broadway, 2006

In 1996, he appeared in Tim Burton's sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks![28] as image-obsessed, hormonally driven Press Secretary Jerry Ross. In 1997, he appeared as Wall Street broker Richard Kempster in Jungle 2 Jungle alongside Tim Allen.[29]

In 2004, he wrote and starred in Jiminy Glick in Lalawood with Jan Hooks as his wife, Dixie Glick.[30] In 2006, he starred in another movie with Tim Allen, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.[31]

Short also provided the voices of several animated film characters, such as Stubbs in We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993), Hubie in The Pebble and the Penguin (1995), Huy in The Prince of Egypt (1998) (alongside Steve Martin as Hotep), Ooblar in Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001), B.E.N. in Treasure Planet (2002),Thimbletack the Brownie in The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Stefano the sea lion in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)[28][32] and The Jester in Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (2014).

On August 31, 2007, he appeared as the new host of O Canada!, a Circle-Vision 360° film premiering at Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park.[citation needed]


Short resumed work in the theater, playing a lead role in the 1993 musical version of the Neil Simon film The Goodbye Girl, on Broadway, receiving a Tony Award nomination and an Outer Critics Circle Award.[33][34][35]

He had the lead role in the 1999 Broadway revival of the musical Little Me, for which he received a Tony Award and another Outer Critics Circle Award.[36][37][38]

In 2003, Short took to the stage once again in the critically acclaimed Los Angeles run of The Producers. Short played the role of the accountant, Leo Bloom, opposite Jason Alexander's Max Bialystock.[39][40] Although the role of Leo Bloom was originated on Broadway by Matthew Broderick, Mel Brooks first approached Short about doing the part opposite Nathan Lane.[41] On the subject, Short has stated in numerous interviews that, while he was thrilled by the opportunity, the idea of having to move his family from their Los Angeles home to New York for a year was less than ideal and ultimately proved a deal-breaker.

Short performed in his satirical one-man show, with a cast of six, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Broadway. The show toured several cities in the spring of 2006, prior to opening on Broadway in August 2006; the show closed in January 2007. In it, he performed his classic characters Grimley, Cohen, and Glick.[42][43][44][45]

As Glick, Short brought a member of the audience (usually a celebrity) on stage and interviewed him or her. Jerry Seinfeld was the guest on opening night. The show also featured parodies of many celebrities including Celine Dion, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Tommy Tune, Joan Rivers, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Renée Zellweger, Jodie Foster, Rachael Ray, and Short's wife, actress Nancy Dolman. The cast album was released on April 10, 2007, and is available from Ghostlight Records, an imprint of Sh-K-Boom Records.[46]

Short has continued to tour in his one-man show, which features many of his best-loved characters and sketches.[47] In addition to Fame Becomes Me, some titles that Short has used for his one-man show include Stroke Me Lady Fame, If I'd Saved, I Wouldn't Be Here, and Sunday in the Park with George Michael.[48] Short revealed in March 2011 that he plans to write a memoir, covering his forty-year career in show business.[22] Titled "I Must Say: My Life as Humble Comedy Legend", it will be released on November 4, 2014.[49]

Personal life[edit]


Short met Canadian comic actress Nancy Dolman in 1972 during the run of Godspell. The couple married in 1980. Dolman retired from show business in 1985 to be a stay-at-home mom[50] and raise her family. Nancy Dolman Short died on August 21, 2010, from ovarian cancer.[51] Short and Dolman have three children: Katherine (1983), Oliver (1986), and Henry (1989).[52]

Short and his family make their home in Pacific Palisades, California. He also has a home on Lake Rosseau in Ontario.[53] He is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Short has two stars on Canada's Walk of Fame.[54] His brother Michael Short is a comedy writer and twice winner of the Emmy Award for comedy sketch writing.

Extended family[edit]

Dolman's brother, screenwriter/director Bob Dolman (who served as a part of SCTV's Emmy-winning writing team alongside Short), married their close friend and colleague Andrea Martin, also in 1980. Dolman and Short are aunt and uncle to the couple's two sons, Jack and Joe. Dolman and Martin have since divorced.[55] Short is a first cousin of Clare Short, a former member of the British Parliament and former British cabinet minister.[56]


Short has actively campaigned for the Women's Research Cancer Fund, and he accepted a "Courage Award" on behalf of his late wife, who succumbed to the disease in 2010, at a 2011 gala by the group.[57]



1972CucumberSmokey The HareEpisode: "Ecology ... Smokey the Hare"
1978For the RecordWeepyEpisode: "Cementhead"
1979The AssociatesTucker Kerwin13 episodes
1979The Family ManLouieMovie
1980The Love BoatMelvin1 episode
1980–81I'm a Big Girl NowNeal Stryker14 episodes
1981TaxiMitch HarrisEpisode: "Jim Joins the Network"
1981–84Second City TelevisionVariousCast member
1984–85Saturday Night LiveVariousCast member (season 10)
1986Tall Tales & LegendsJohnny AppleseedEpisode: "Johnny Appleseed"
Saturday Night LiveCo-host
"Chevy Chase/Steve Martin/Martin Short/Randy Newman"
"Martin Short/Paul McCartney"
1989Dink, The Little DinosaurNarrator
The Tracey Ullman ShowDoc, The Elvis Freak
Lou, Football Fan
"Needle in a Haystack"
"Dawg Day Afternoon"
1990The Dave Thomas Comedy ShowHimselfEpisode 4
1990The Earth Day SpecialNathan ThurmSpecial
1991Maniac MansionEddie O'DonnellEpisode: "Down & Out in Cedar Springs"
1992Favorite SongsMozartVoice; Episode: "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
1996Muppets TonightHimselfEpisode: "Martin Short"
1999–2000The Martin Short ShowHimself/host63 episodes
2001-2003Primetime GlickJiminy Glick30 episodes
2002Curb Your EnthusiasmHimselfEpisode: "The Terrorist Attack"
2005Arrested DevelopmentUncle JackEpisode: "Ready, Aim, Marry Me"
2005Law & Order: Special Victims UnitSebastian Ballentine / Henry PalaverEpisode: "Pure"
2007Bob & Doug McKenzie's Two-Four AnniversaryHimselfSpecial
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!The Cat In The HatVoice
2010DamagesLeonard Winstone / Lester WigginsMain role (season 3)
2011WeedsSteward Havens3 episodes
2011–12How I Met Your MotherGarrison Cootes3 episodes
2012Canada's Got TalentHimself/judgeSeason 1; 22 episodes
2013, 2014Hollywood Game NightHimself2 episodes
2014Working the EngelsChuck PastryEpisode: "Jenna vs. Big Pastry" (unaired)
2014 – presentMulaneyLou Cannon


1979Lost and FoundEngelFilm debut
1986Three AmigosNed Nederlander
1987InnerspaceJack Putter
1987Cross My HeartDavid Morgan
1989Three FugitivesNed Perry
1989The Big PictureNeil SussmanUncredited
1991Pure LuckEugene Proctor
1991Father of the BrideFranck Eggelhoffer
1992Captain RonMartin Harvey
1993We're Back! A Dinosaur's StoryStubbs The ClownVoice
1994CliffordClifford Daniels
1995The Pebble and the PenguinHubieVoice
1995Father of the Bride Part IIFranck Eggelhoffer
1996Mars Attacks!Press Secretary Jerry Ross
1997Jungle 2 JungleRichard Kempster
1997A Simple WishMurray
1998The Prince of EgyptHuyVoice
1999MumfordLionel Dillard
1999Alice in WonderlandMad Hatter / Chinless Idiot
2001Get Over ItDr. Desmond Forrest-Oates
2001Jimmy Neutron: Boy GeniusOoblarVoice
2002Treasure PlanetB.E.N.Voice
2003101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London AdventureLarsVoice
2004Jiminy Glick in LalawoodJiminy Glick / David Lynch
2004Barbie as the Princess and the PauperPremingerVoice
2006The Santa Clause 3: The Escape ClauseJack Frost
2008The Spiderwick ChroniclesThimbletackVoice
2008America the BeautifulHimself
2011Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. EvilThe WoodsmanVoice
2012Madagascar 3: Europe's Most WantedStefanoVoice
2012FrankenweenieEdward Frankenstein / Mr. Bergermesiter / NassorVoice
2013The Wind RisesKurokawaVoice
2014Legends of Oz: Dorothy's ReturnJesterVoice
2014Inherent ViceDr. Rudy Blatnoyd
Short's star on Canada's Walk of Fame

Awards and honours[edit]


  1. ^ Celebrity Immigrants, September 16, 2010. Though in 2013 he was still identifying himself as Canadian:
  2. ^ a b Amy Lennard Goehner (August 6, 2006). "10 Questions For Martin Short". Time. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Profile at". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  4. ^ Olivia Stren (June 2006). "Laugh Track". torontolife. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Martin Short Biography" Hello Magazine, accessed August 26, 2013
  6. ^ "Profile" The Toronto Star
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Fame Becomes Martin Short". CBS News The Showbuzz. September 17, 2006. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  9. ^ Carmela Fragomeni (February 24, 2006). "Westdale grads found stardom". The Hamilton Spectator. Archived from the original on June 5, 2008. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Martin Short Biography at New York Times", accessed August 26, 2013
  11. ^ a b "Martin Short Milestones at TCM", accessed August 26, 2013
  12. ^ a b "Martin Short Biography at TCM", accessed August 26, 2013
  13. ^ a b "Martin Short Characters, Impressions and Guest Appearances", accessed August 25, 2013
  14. ^ "Martin Short Concert For the North Americas", accessed August 26, 2013
  15. ^ "I, Martin Short, Goes Hollywood", accessed August 26, 2013
  16. ^ "Martin Short Biography" (, accessed August 26, 2013
  17. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Brooks, Alexander, Mullally Among Stars to Appear on Martin Short's 'Primetime Glick' ", April 15, 2003
  18. ^ Hinson, Hal. TELEVISION/RADIO; A Tempest in a Talk Show: Jiminy Glick's Wild Ride" The New York Times, (, April 14, 2002
  19. ^ " 'Muppets Tonight' Martin Short", accessed August 26, 2013
  20. ^ Clark, Cindy. "Something new for Short: A regular TV role on 'Damages'" USA Today, January 24, 2010
  21. ^ Valiquette, Mike. "Press release: Daytime Emmy noms for Canadian-produced 'Cat in the Hat'" May 11, 2011
  22. ^ a b Shields, Mel (March 27, 2011). "Martin Short promises a Reno appearance by Mr. Glick – Sacramento Entertainment – Sacramento Movie Theaters, Music | Sacramento Bee". Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Martin Short Joins How I Met Your Mother". June 28, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  24. ^ Harris, Bill. "More 'Talent' judges announced" Toronto Sun, October 17, 2011
  25. ^ "Cast, March 9, 2013 Saturday Night Live" imdb, accessed August 26, 2013
  26. ^ Johnson, Zach. "Justin Timberlake" US Magazine, March 10, 2013
  27. ^
  28. ^ a b c "Martin Short Filmography", accessed August 25, 2013
  29. ^ Deming, Mark. " 'Jungle 2 Jungle' Overview" (Rovi), accessed August 25, 2013
  30. ^ Holden, Steven." 'Jiminy Glick in Lalawood' Overview", accessed August 25, 2013
  31. ^ Dargis, Manola. " 'The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause' Review", accessed August 25, 2013
  32. ^ Kennedy, Lisa. "Movie review: "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" delights as furry friends and a frenzied foes return" Denver Post, June 4, 2012
  33. ^ "Internet Broadway Database listing, 'The Goodbye Girl'" Internet Broadway Database, retrieved May 21, 2010
  34. ^ Rich, Frank."Review/Theater; How Far Two Good Sports Will Go", The New York Times, March 5, 1993
  35. ^ "Martin Short Broadway Credits and Awards" (, accessed August 26, 2013
  36. ^ Haun, Harry."Little Me Gives Martin Short His 3rd Neil Simon Role", September 14, 1998
  37. ^ McGrath, Sean."1999 Tony Winner: Martin Short (Leading Actor, Musical, Little Me)", June 6, 1999
  38. ^ "Internet Broadway database listing, 'Little Me'" Internet Broadway Database, retrieved May 21, 2010
  39. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Alexander and Short Join Producers Tour in San Fran, April 21–26 Before L.A. Sitdown" March 25, 2003
  40. ^ Perlmutter, Sharon."Review: The Producers" in Los Angeles, retrieved May 21, 2010
  41. ^ "Break a Leg: The Producers Opens at Bway's St. James, April 19",, April 19, 2001
  42. ^ Simonson, Robert."Ensemble for Martin Short's New Broadway Show Announced", March 24, 2006
  43. ^ Brantley, Ben."Review:'Fame Becomes Me' " The New York Times, August 18, 2006
  44. ^ Haun, Harry (August 16, 2006). "Playbill on Opening Night: Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me: Grist for the Glick Mill". 
  45. ^ "Photo Coverage: Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me' Opens "
  46. ^ Gans, Andrew."Fame Undone: Martin Short Show Closes on Broadway Jan. 7", January 7, 2007
  47. ^ "STG Presents Martin Short, October 3, 2013" Seattle Theatre Group, accessed August 26, 2013
  48. ^ Leggett, Page. " 'An Evening with Martin Short' ", Weekend Top Picks for March 30-April 1" Charlotte Magazine, March 28, 2012
  49. ^
  50. ^ "Martin Short's wife dies suddenly". August 23, 2010. 
  51. ^ Natalie Finn (August 23, 2010). "Martin Short Loses Wife to Cancer". E! Online. Retrieved August 23, 2010. 
  52. ^
  53. ^ Denny Lee (September 16, 2005). "Muskoka: The Malibu of the North". The New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  54. ^ "Martin Short: 2000 Inductee". Canada's Walk of Fame. 2000. Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  55. ^ "Andrea Martin Biography". IMDb. 2008. Retrieved June 9, 2008. 
  56. ^ Street, Andrew P. "Martin Short". Time Out Sydney. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  57. ^ "Martin Short to Accept Award", February 4, 2011

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]