Monday, January 08, 2007

I Must Say

Two years ago, my mom got my sister and I tickets to a Bill Murray interview in NYC as a Christmas present. This year, she got Chan and I tickets to a Martin Short interview. Nice job on both, mom. Good lookin' on the New York Times interview series.

Last time, I had front row seats. This time it was general admission, and we weren't at the front of the line to get in, but amazingly, Chan and I spotted two empty seats in the front row and nabbed them. It was cool to see Short in person. Like Bill Murray, he's one of those people that makes me laugh at the sight of him. In person, the effect is multiplied by eighty. (Seventy-five, eighty...) But he's also been a part of some skits that are legendary in my family and hopefully yours: The synchronized swimmers ("I'm not a very strong swimmer."), Jackie Rogers, Jr. ("It's like Pyramid, but different."), Ed Grimley ("I get to meet Pat Sajak!"), and Nathan Thurm ("It's him, right?"). And who could forget his roles in such Jere classics that nobody else remembers such as Clifford and Pure Luck?

The interviewer, Jesse Green, was a pretty good match for Short. Definitely better than Murray's. He was a little talky-talky at first, but then he pretty much let Marty take over. Short had just (earlier today) wrapped up his Broadway show, so there was a lot of talk about that. In it, Short creates an entire fictional backstory to his own life. In the interview, we learned that that's because he prefers that over talking about his own Canadian upbringing, which was fairly normal and filled with humor. But then he proceeded to tell us about it anyway. I guess we were special. He said he preferred the Buffalo-based American TV channels, as a kid, to the Canadian ones: "You had products like Bosco and Charmin. I was dying to squeeze the Charmin."

Throughout the interview, we were shown clips from Short's career. After seeing himself dance in Three Amigos and Innerspace, Martin said, "I have one dance and two haircuts...[laughter]...and seven homes." While the clips rolled, I watched Martin's reaction to his past (Shorty watchin' Shorty?). It was interesting to see. At one point he gave a look like "Why would I have done that?" And he really enjoyed watching the various scenes he played with Mr. Steve Martin.

He talked about the synchronized swimmer skit, saying that he'd just broken his collar bone, which added to the comedy of his jerky arm movements.

There was much Jiminy Glick talk, of course. He said the funniest thing in the world to him was Don Knotts' Barney Fife character. The false bravado covering up the extreme insecurity. I just pretended he was talking about Mr. Furley.

It was a really good time. Martin hinted at this show being the end of his career, and how he thinks going out on a high note is just as cool as entering strong. But then he told a story about Frank Sinatra's retirement, and how he ended up coming back again and again after that. Right now, Short needs to be with his family. He'll be back with something, I'm sure.

Terrible job by the interviewer toward the end. Right before the audience Q & A, they were having trouble with the mic out in the crowd, leaving us in silence. So the guy says, "this is that dreaded dead air." Short, without missing a beat, breaks into the classic "crickets chirping noise." We all busted out laughing, as he does the noise really well--to the point where Chan said he thought it was a sound effect. Okay, so we're all comfortable in knowing that Martin imitated crickets to symbolize the silence...except the interviewer, who follows up with "the famous bird calls of Martin Short..." Ugh. I was so embarrassed for the guy. Chan later said I overreacted to this. TJ, Chan. Everyone in that room knew what that noise meant, except Interrogator McNulty there. And he had to go and ruin the joke. My guess is that the guy grew up in a city and doesn't equate chirping with silence.

Now I will go to sleep to the sound of pitter-patter outside my window. (No, sir, that doesn't mean there are kitty cats prancing on the window sill.)

But before I go, check out this random article. It's got some good info, as well as what folks in publishing refer to as a "stack." The word "elected," four-high.

I LOOOOOVE Nathan Thurm. I read it. You read it.
Wow, great gift idea Ms. JeresMom. My Dad is tough to shop for but he'd like to go to some of those. I just added myself to the email list.
You want a Thurm story from the horse's mouth? He said that he loved watching Nixon, because he had the whole false bravado thing. And he always had that line of sweat on his upper lip, when you knew he was lying to you. So when Short came up with that character, he put some shiny stuff on his upper lip. That reminds me, Short also said he's a Democrat and is anti-Bush, but says no matter what side you're on, you have to admit Bush is the funniest character. (He said you might have to get a Republican drunk before they'll admit this.)
Clifford was such a hilarious movie.
The youth of America like Clifford! I take back everything I've said...
Haha, the old movies are the good ones.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States