Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend” as Want to Read:
I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  8,390 Ratings  ·  1,331 Reviews
In this engaging memoir, written with heart, wisdom, and a huge helping of hilarity, Martin Short shares stories of his life, revealing how a Canadian kid obsessed with American show business became the comedian s comedian ("Vanity Fair").

Martin Short is one of few celebrities in show business who has continually worked hard, found success, and maintained a normal, happy f
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Harper (first published January 1st 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Must Say, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lori I would definitely recommend the audiobook if you'd like to hear parts of that sketch again. You get to hear from many of his characters.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Eric
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you are reading this right now as a physical book, put it down right now and get the audiobook. Martin Short narrates it himself, and does all the singing, characters (Ed Grimley, etc), and celeb-friend impressions. It's a performance piece you miss out on when you just read it.

Although this book is very funny, Short's life has also been touched with tragedy. It's all here.
Joe
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listened-to
You love Martin Short. I'm not asking you. I'm telling you. Now, I don't know why you love him. It could be his work on SNL (or if you're hip and cool, SCTV). It could be his cult classic movies like Clifford, Three Amigos, or Innerspace. It could be because of his hilarious appearances on talk shows. It could be all or any of these things, but let's be clear, you do love him.

For me, I've always adored the man for all of the above listed reasons. After reading this book, my heart must have grown
...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)


*3.5 stars*

I was not very familiar with most of Martin Short's work, so the majority of the references went over my head. However, the parts of the book where he talked about his wife's sickness and death wrecked me. Sobbing. Expertly narrated.
Glenn Sumi
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it


As with most memoirs by comic performers, I partly listened to and partly read Martin Short's I Must Say: My Life As A Humble Comedy Legend. Turns out that was a good decision.

Even working with a co-writer (David Kamp), Short isn’t the best scribe. But he’s a first-rate impressionist. And so when he’s telling stories involving his famous friends (Tom Hanks, Nora Ephron, Steve Martin, Eugene Levy, Paul Shaffer, Gilda Radner, et al.), he brings them to life in the audiobook with quick, sharp imper
...more
HBalikov
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me..." Now we seem to feel the same about celebrity and wish to know everything. In fact, it is much easier now for the famous to become rich.

If you are one of those who do not disdain (in your heart of hearts) the cult of celebrity, the fact that Martin Short is a "comedy legend" should only enhance your enjoyment. This is popular culture through the eyes of a long-term participant.

Short has had su
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Well...what to say here? This isn't a bad book and it has some genuinely interesting moments.

First let me lay out what we have. This is a fairly straight forward bio of Martin Short. We find out about his life, his love for his family, his wife and his...art(?). The influences that made Martin Short, Martin Short (and all those other people) are laid out and discussed. The general approach is that first Mr. Short talks about a certain part of his career and then the next chapter is called an "i
...more
Diane
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a lot of fun! If you're a Martin Short fan, you will enjoy this memoir.

Martin talks about his childhood in Canada, how he got his start in acting and comedy, his relationship with Gilda Radner, his funny characters, his long and happy marriage to Nancy Dolman, his friendships with Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, etc., his experiences on SCTV, Saturday Night Live and in the movies, and finally, his wife's struggle with cancer.

Throughout the book, there are interludes with some of Martin's most
...more
Steve
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Steve by: Bryan Reader
I think I'm done with audio-autobiographies. This book is filled with tons of name-dropping and the requisite "humble beginnings" catchphrases. Not to say he isn't funny, but rehashing old skits as filler between chapters was too much. The parts of the book in which he talked about growing up, losing his parents and an older sibling were touching, though.

Martin Short is obviously a very accomplished comedian and actor, but 8+ hours in audiobook format is too much.
Barbara
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

Note: I listened to the audio version of this book which is fun because Short performs some of his famous comic characters, sings, and does impersonations.

Though he may not have realized it at the time, Martin Short was meant to be a performer from childhood. As a youngster he made tape recordings of his family's entertaining quarrels and conversations...as well as his own solitary sketches. This was all fodder for Short's eventual emergence as a comedy machine with a stable of humorous
...more
Chris
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All I have to say is, "Damn you, Martin Short!"
I fully expected this book (audiobook, actually) to be another mediocre, ghost-written celebrity autobiography about a not-so-interesting life. Boy was I wrong. Martin Short has completely exceeded my expectations in this autobiography. He has written and performed a touching, funny, and cohesive story of his life. Other celebrities should be required to read (and/or listen to) this book before attempting to share their stories. I laughed out loud a
...more
Jan C
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this driving from Chicago to Tennessee. Came close to driving off the road or into other cars half the time because I was laughing so hard. He apologized for dropping so many names. I don't think it is dropping names if they're actually his friends.

The best part of listening to it is all the voices he does. Whether he's talking to Katharine Hepburn (before she decides to change seats), or doing a Bette Davis impression to her face.

Very funny, but filled with sadness too when he re
...more
Randee
I knew this would be 5 stars before I even started. I would have been shocked if it had been anything less. Martin Short is a talented, 5 star plus entertainer. He can do anything and do it in such an amusing manner that I look forward to his every appearance on TV and film. He has an engaging personality, he reminds me of a naughty boy even though he is well into his 60's. I listened to this on Audible because I wanted to hear him narrate it. Needless to say, he was a fantastic narrator and his ...more
Linda
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, humor

I’ve been a fan of Short’s for many years, but in a low-key sort of way. It was more of an “Oh, Martin Short’s in this. It’ll be good.” kind of fandom. I never felt the need to track down details of his personal life, and indeed, he never seemed to show up in the tabloid press. But when I saw this book was being released, I knew I had to read it, because Short was part of the fabric of my childhood and adolescent love for comedy-- sketch and standup.

If at all possible, you need to listen to the
...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
Listening to this was a surprise for me on so many levels. I bought it not expecting much as Martin Short was just this actor from some silly 80s movies that I didn't know much about.

So the first thing that surprised me was how much he had done, his career and work, most of unheard here in Germany (unless you dive deep into the internet I guess). I really enjoyed listening to him talk about his insecurities and how he came up with characters and how his work life looked.

The other thing I hadn't
...more
Robin
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-autobio
This was a well done combo of Short's accounts of his childhood, personal relationships, and career highs and lows. Martin has suffered through some sad events in his life (parents died when he was fairly young and wife died in 2010) but he seems to have handled them with grace and has emerged a stronger person. His advice to his son when his wife was dying put a lump in my throat and his revelations about his own happy personality near the end had me smiling. Also, it has just enough inside inf ...more
Marla
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never been a big fan of Martin Short. I've enjoyed his work but I wouldn't go out of my way to see him. I listened to the audiobook version with Martin reading. I'm glad I picked this up. I learned so much more about him and have a new respect for him. I enjoy comedy and it was interesting to hear about the behind the scenes of his work. Also sad when his family members passed including his wife Nan who he adored.

This is well worth the listen.
Amber Gamell-Hall
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've read many former SNL actors books and Martin Short's is by far the most grateful, happy, and loving tale I've ever read. It progressed like conversations over coffee with real moments of laughter and tears. The only mistake this well written memoir made is to make the reader feel like they gained a friend...but then again his characters always had the same effect.
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio-memoir
Martin Short has always been one of my favorite funny men. From his early days on SCTV and later on with his classic character of Ed Grimmley on SNL, I've always found Short to be an incredible comic actor. I MUST SAY is a MUST read for any and all Martin Short fans. Just a marvelous memoir.
Danielle
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - audio is amazing and I almost swerved off the road laughing on multiple occasions!
Donna
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Martin Short, he can be so funny and usually keeps his presentation clean. In this book, he comes across as normal, hard working, and FUNNY. I loved listening to him narrate his own autobiography.

He had a pretty normal upbringing, so there wasn't the deep family secrets and pain that others have had to write about. This was mostly about his career. It wasn't as funny as thought it would be, but it was well done. I even actually cried when his wife died. 4 stars.
Karen
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My reaction after listening to Short's autobiography (which he also narrated): Wow, I've sold him short. As he recounted the events of his life, I felt a deep respect for him as a person. His reaction to the Kathy Lee Giffords interview gaffe (where she didn't realize his wife had passed away), seems typical: Empathetic and kind. On a different note, what surprised me most? That he'd once dated Gilda Radner. This is an interesting book, and I recommend it (especially on audio).
Brian
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pop-culture
A quick, insightful, funny and surprisingly poignant piece that's far more engrossing than the typical celebrity memoir. Some might complain about his excessive name-dropping, but I think that’s part of his charm. The book covers his career, but the truly interesting element is his general outlook on life itself. My only regret is not listening to the audio version instead!
Dena
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have always enjoyed Martin Short. I expected to laugh. I didn't expect to cry, to be touched and to be inspired. A must read about a genuinely good guy who's just way more famous than you. Now... how to score an invite to his Christmas Party?
Beth Newman
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I must say...

You will laugh. You will cry.


That is all.


http://myelegantmusings.blogspot.com/



Elizabeth
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first experience with an audiobook, and it was a real winner. I'm glad I heeded the advice of other goodreads-ers to listen to, rather than read, this memoir. Martin Short does an excellent job -- how could he not? It was funny, moving, sincere, and thought-provoking. I listened to the first 4 disks (of 7) with my husband during a long drive. We LOL'd simultaneously many times, and would pause the disk to reminisce about things Short was relating. Yes, it's a little name-droppy at times, but ...more
John Hartnett
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
The day "I Must Say" arrived, I read half of it in one sitting and only put it down so I'd have something to look forward to the next day. So many laugh out loud lines. Unquestionably (at least in my mind) Martin Short is one of the best, a brilliant comedy writer and performer right up there with the greats: Jack Benny, the Marx Brothers, Albert Brooks and for that matter, the incredibly talented cast of SCTV, of which he was a member in the early eighties.

There are plenty of entertaining anecd
...more
Wanda
I'm not a big fan of celebrity memoirs (or Martin Short, for that matter) so it was a fluke that I picked this up, hoping I wouldn't regret it. As it turns out the only thing I regret is that I didn't go for the audiobook instead. It's the only way this could be any funnier.

That said, I Must Say isn't just about comedy. There's plenty about Short's early life, family and career, and it includes a touching tribute to his late wife near the end. The name dropping did get heavy in a few places (

...more
Bonnie
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a perfect Hollywood (by way of Canada)memoir. Behind the scenes stories that are not at all salacious, but rather honest, loving, touching, funny, informative, just great. Worth the price of admission just for the various descriptions of Paul Schaffer (his great friend.) Paul in black tie -- a maître de at an alien restaurant. EXACTLY~ Absolutely get the audiobook for this. Short does his characters, and you will want to hear them. I laughed a lot, even though so many sad things happen. ...more
Margaret
A joy to read about one of my favorite comedians and fun to hear about the back stories to several of Martin Short's movies. Sad to hear about his many losses in his life. It would be beneficial to have prior knowledge of his movies and his comedic work before reading his book. With that in mind, very enjoyable book.
W. Whalin
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting Writing but Occasionally R Rated

I've always enjoyed seeing Martin Short interviewed on the talk shows and watching some of his movies. It was with great interest that I read I MUST SAY from cover to cover. The writing and the storytelling were well-done and kept my interest.

Because I've never seen Martin Short on Broadway or any other live event, I was surprised to find the occasional F-Bomb tucked into his stories. From what I know about other comics, I should not have been surprise
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • So That Happened: My Unexpected Life in Hollywood
  • What's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life
  • My Happy Days in Hollywood: A Memoir
  • Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys
  • Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets
  • Up Till Now
  • Keep Moving: And Other Truths About Living Well Longer
  • Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life
  • The Elephant to Hollywood
  • Lady Parts
  • Paul Newman: A Life
  • I Remember Me
  • Hope: Entertainer of the Century
  • Almost Interesting
  • Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3
  • As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling
  • So, Anyway...
  • I Said Yes to Everything: A Memoir
40 followers
Martin Hayter Short is an actor, comedian, writer, singer and producer.
More about Martin Short

Nonfiction Deals

  • Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
    $15.99 $3.99
  • The Monster of Florence
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob
    $9.99 $1.99
  • April 1865 (P.S.)
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Lab 257
    $8.74 $1.99
  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Girl in the Woods: A Memoir
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Last Lecture
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Not Tonight, Honey: Wait 'Til I'm A Size 6
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases
    $10.99 $1.99
  • An Appetite For Wonder: The Making Of A Scientist
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
    $27.99 $2.99
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Dakotas)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Restless: Because You Were Made for More
    $7.49 $1.99
  • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Pukka: The Pup After Merle
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Buddhist Boot Camp
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flour: A Baker's Collection of Spectacular Recipes
    $21.99 $3.99
  • The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Van Gogh
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Woman's Worth
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Do the Work
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Suck at Girls
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
    $14.99 $2.99
  • A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives
    $18.99 $1.99
  • The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Wright Brothers
    $12.99 $3.99
  • The Power of Moments: Why Certain Moments Have Extraordinary Impact
    $14.99 $3.99
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
    $12.99 $3.99
  • The Last Black Unicorn
    $12.99 $4.99
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Affluent Society
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It
    $7.24 $1.99
  • The World's Last Night: And Other Essays
    $7.99 $1.99
  • A. Lincoln
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Life
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
    $13.24 $2.99
  • Grace, Not Perfection (with Bonus Content): Celebrating Simplicity, Embracing Joy
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. And Robert F. Kennedy
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Why We Run: A Natural History
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
    $12.99 $2.99
“Da problem with today’s songwriters is, dey’re just ripping off what I did years ago. “Send In da Clowns”? I wrote da same tune back in 1910 under the title “Send Up Some Towels.” 2 likes
“everything from Hairspray to the Academy Awards. They were also my co-conspirators on my 2006 Broadway show, Fame” 2 likes
More quotes…