Both on-screen and on-stage, Martin Short’s comedy has amused millions of viewers since his start. The Canadian comedian has entertained in movies like Three Amigos to popular shows like Saturday Night Live, and even on Broadway. Martin is considered a top comedian today and is loved by millions.
Born in 1950, Martin grew up in Canada and soon began touring with Toronto’s Second City comedy troupe. When he chose to move to New York, he was soon cast on Saturday Night Live, and today he is most-known for his performance on the show that was said to boost his career to the next level. Soon, many movie roles began popping up for the up-and-coming comedian, and Martin got his part in some of comedy’s greatest hits like Innerspace and the Three Amigos in the 1980s.
Martin was born in Ontario in March of 1960. It wasn’t long before Martin discovered he had a knack for entertainment, and he was best known in his house for the impressions and wacky characters he did. It was from an early age that Martin began expressing his interest in a comedic career, and he often talked about having his own variety show from an early age.
Short once said that he wanted to be Frank Sinatra because he “thought being Frank was cool.” He would often make shows in his room as a child that included songs and interviews. Martin recalls his family as being very supportive of his interests. With four older siblings, Martin said he would often find himself in the middle of creative efforts and that his older siblings would usually join in on his fun. His mother was a violinist and concert master who gave him feedback on his singing, and his father was a business executive who never criticized his “absurdity and eccentricity.”
But, Martin’s childhood was marred with many troubles. He was only twelve-years-old when his oldest brother died tragically in a car accident. It wasn’t long before his mother began her battle with cancer. During that time, Martin, his siblings, and his father did their best to keep her happy. Martin was eighteen when his mother, Olive, passed away. Unfortunately, it was only a few years later when his father passed from a stroke.
Despite all of the losses that Short experienced, he kept up his hopes and was more determined than ever to achieve the career he always spoke about. He used his sadness as a fuel to make people happy. Then in his twenties, he would soon meet his big break upon moving to New York and joining Saturday Night Light only a few years later.
But, before moving into his dream career in comedy, Martin enrolled in McMaster University to earn his degree in social work. During his last year of school, he explored his love for performing. In 1972, he auditioned for a local production of Godspell. Martin later recalled that he was very surprised when the news came he had earned the role. Martin said he had been in show business for “about an hour” and was amazed he had already received his first job.
During the production, he began to talk with Nancy Dolman, a fellow cast member. Soon, they began dating. After Godspell was finished, Short moved on to work on many other stage and television productions within the Toronto area. He got the job as the host of a weekly music show shortly after called Right On in 1972. Afterward, he joined in on the Second City comedy group, and soon after he moved to NYC where he joined the cast of SNL.
Saturday Night Live was considered the official launch of his career, and it’s the part that Martin is best known for among fans. But, since his beginning in the early 70s, Martin has become an incredibly successful comedian both on-stage and on-screen. His parts in hit 80s comedies like the Three Amigos took his career to a whole new level, and today he still scores many great roles in various TV, movie, and stage productions.
Martin has often joked that his career came out of nowhere. After receiving his first job rather suddenly in the early 70s, Martin said that the rest of the parts slowly became easier to him. Since performing had always been something he did from a young age, he said it felt very natural to him. As he slowly earned more and more roles, Martin said he soon found himself where he is today, and fans don’t want him anywhere else.