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I Must Say

My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend
Written by: Martin Short
Narrated by: Martin Short
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (126 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this engagingly witty, wise, and heartfelt memoir, Martin Short tells the tale of how a showbiz-obsessed kid from Canada transformed himself into one of Hollywood’s favorite funnymen, known to his famous peers as the "comedian’s comedian".

Martin Short takes you on a rich, hilarious, and occasionally heartbreaking ride through his life and times, from his early years in Toronto as a member of the fabled improvisational troupe Second City to the all-American comic big time of Saturday Night Live and memorable roles in movies such as ¡Three Amigos! and Father of the Bride. He reveals how he created his most indelible comedic characters, among them the manic man-child Ed Grimley, the slimy corporate lawyer Nathan Thurm, and the bizarrely insensitive interviewer Jiminy Glick. Throughout, Short freely shares the spotlight with friends, colleagues, and collaborators, including Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, Gilda Radner, Mel Brooks, Nora Ephron, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Paul Shaffer, and David Letterman.

But there is another side to Short's life that he has long kept private. He lost his eldest brother and both of his parents by the time he turned 20, and, more recently, he lost his wife of 30 years to cancer. In I Must Say, Short talks for the first time about the pain that these losses inflicted and the upbeat life philosophy that has kept him resilient and carried him through. In the grand tradition of comedy legends, Martin Short offers a show business memoir densely populated with boldface names and rife with re-tellable tales: a hugely entertaining yet surprisingly moving self-portrait that will keep you laughing - and crying - from the first page to the last.

Special Lyrics for "It's The Most Wonderful Show of the Year" and "Picture-Perfect Christmas In The Palisades" by Martin Short, Marc Shaiman, and Scott Wittman; Special Lyrics for “Marty Throws a Party Just to Sing" by Marc Shaiman.

©2014 Martin Short (P)2014 Harper Collins Publishers

What listeners say about I Must Say

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  • P
  • 2020-05-15

Amazing Story of how Love and Laughter Win

I loved this from beginning to end. It reminded me of the chats my childhood best friend and I would have when she would return from her cottage after I'd remained in the city for the summer. We'd meet on the curb at a house between each of our homes and talk for hours about our summers. It just gave me that same level of comfort and companionship .

1 person found this helpful

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A True Canadian Treasure!

I absolutely LOVED this audio book. A "must " to listen to especially if you are a Canadian fan of Martin Short.

1 person found this helpful

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I must say...

Bravo, Martin Short - Hamilton's finest comedic son!!! This is a sugar spun confection that any Short fan will devour and find delicious. I enjoyed it so much, and appreciate the laughs and the smiles it brought. A must listen!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Nothing Short of Spectacular!

A memoir by Martin Short? Yes please! Listening to the audiobook version narrated by Martin himself?? The absolute best thing ever, I Must Say (total rip off of Ed Grimley!!).

Martin Short spoils us by sharing amazing inside stories from Hollywood, insights from the biz so to speak, on everything from tv series, tv variety shows, movies, live comedy shows, attending awards shows and delivering speeches, and even table talk at various Hollywood events and lifelong friendships.

On the audiobook, we are further spoiled by hearing Martin Short actually imitate countless Hollywood stars in addition to playing his own invented stage characters.

But the ultimate and overly generous gift that Short gives us is sharing so many anecdotes and very deep insights into his personal life, his love life, his family life, and his lifelong friendships.

And as if this absolute gem of a comedy memoir needed anything more, interspersed throughout the book are interludes that feature most of Short’s all-time most memorable character creations, along with explanations and original material.

This book is honest, insightful, self-deprecating, revealing, drop-down hilariously funny and witty, while also being emotionally touching and poignant. It’s as amazing as a Hollywood memoir should be, and then some. Not bad for a humble and modest Canadian comic!

1 person found this helpful

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Your own private concert with Martin Short

Such a great book to listen to as read by Martin himself. I found myself laughing out loud in public places while listening (Just like the audible tv commercial). It was great to hear the history of his career and upbringing in detail. I listened to the whole book over one weekend (which is rare for me) as it was so entertaining. He really is a comic legend and so talented and a decent person too. Highly recommend this book.

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A beautiful life

a lovely and entertaining story where the charm of the author punctuated by the tragic moments really let his uniqueness shine through.

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A great story

Well written. Very entertaining. Narration was captivating. Martin Short is an incrediblely nice guy. Thanks

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Absolutely Wonderful

I will listen to this many times over.
Thank you to Martin Short and all involved for such a beautiful book

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Just brilliant

Just brilliant 👏. A funny but very informative look at one of Canada's great funny entertainer. what I got from this book was the rock of a matriarch, first with Mr shorts mom, then is amazing love story with is wife. love the ending. A conversation with Nan. just brilliant 👏.

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Engaging and Entertaining

Really enjoyed this life story, especially as read by the author. I don’t think reading the hard copy would have done this particular book justice! Many laugh out loud moments and a lot of nostalgia. Definitely captures the attention and holds it throughout the book. Just be forewarned that some of the language and content might not be appropriate for young listeners who might overhear. Earbuds recommended!

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  • Ty Brady
  • 2014-11-06

This is what audio books were made for!

If you could sum up I Must Say in three words, what would they be?

"Read By Martin!"
Oh, give me a break, what a wonderful performance by Marty, and that's no lie. Can I call him Marty? I suppose if we were best friends, I could call him Marty. Oh and I suppose that would ever happen! This book made me completely mental, I was so sad when the book finished and there was nothing more to listen to, it was similar to a pain that may linger, I must say.

What did you like best about this story?

Read and Performed by Martin Short.

What does Martin Short bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It's a total performance masterpiece. He does not merely narrate, he goes into his all sorts of different voices, there's even a couple of times where a piano is played. (but no triangles are played.)

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Skip the movie, buy the audio book, it's better!!

45 people found this helpful

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  • Darren Gauthier
  • 2015-01-10

A high point for audiobooks...Bravo!

It's almost as if this was conceived as an audiobook first. His performance makes this more than just someone reading their book. This is the real Martin Short, as funny, candid and tender as someone can be when sharing their life and talent. Very highly recommended.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Gretchen SLP
  • 2017-01-05

Not Just For Fans, Say I

This book is great fun for fans of SCTV, SNL, Martin Short, and 1970s--80s humor generally. Short impeccably reads his own multiple laugh-out-loud stories about practically everything under the sun, including lots of humorous anecdotes concerning awkward social situations during which the author, usually in an effort to impress some major celebrity he's just met for the first time, manages to put his foot squarely in his mouth, concluding his rueful tale with his trademark self-deprecating "'Damn thee, Marty Short,' said I."

There are also a lot of recreated sketches and songs, which led my much-older husband (who never followed SCTV) to become rapidly bored while listening, and prompted me to imagine I would be qualifying my review with the title "Great For Fans." However, just before its final hour, the book takes an unexpected (for me) very serious turn, and without giving any spoilers, I have to say I had tears in my eyes at the end.

Bravo, Marty Short! say I. Thank you for sharing. I'm sure I'll listen to this one again sometime. Grade: A.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Michael Tomasetti
  • 2015-01-28

Short and Sweet

Martin Short is the consummate showman and this audio memoir is like being at a dinner party with him as he regales you with the story of his life.

I was most taken by his optimism and sunny disposition in the face of family tragedy. He is a man with a "Teflon interior," and at 64, shows no signs of stopping.

This audio book is well read, and performances by Jiminy Glick, Ed Grimley, and songs sung at Short's famous Christmas parties are icing on the cake.

I plan on keeping this audio book to check in with Smarty Marty whenever I'm feeling like a good swift kick in the comedy pants.

9 people found this helpful

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  • tina
  • 2015-01-11

I laughed, I cried, I wet my pants...Ty Marty

A true comic genius, a must read if you need to laugh, or if you are in the mist of coping with a loved one with cancer. Great perspective.

7 people found this helpful

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  • elainepcowan
  • 2016-01-13

Humble, heartfelt and hilarious

I enjoyed the flow of the story. The hilarious highs and the humility and telling grace through the lows. I have already recommended it to like minded friends after having to pull over to the side of the road on TWO occasions, once for laughing myself to tears and the other, well tears. It's a love story masqueraded as a memoir.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dave Staats
  • 2014-11-17

I always hoped he'd be like this.

If you could sum up I Must Say in three words, what would they be?

A Wonderful Life.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the whole thing so much I don't know how to answer this question.

What about Martin Short’s performance did you like?

It was him. It felt like he was talking to me.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I didn't know his history beyond the work so it hit me when he began talking about Nancy in the past tense at a certain point in the book.

Any additional comments?

I wish he had only covered half his life so we could have another book.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jodi H.
  • 2020-07-21

Loved it

Martin Short is one of my favorite comedians. I love the stories of yesteryear and he made me laugh and cry. Really great listening!

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  • JPALJ
  • 2020-07-02

Understated Genius

So very well done. Ideal balance of insight, Hollywood glamour, affection, and, of course, humor.

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  • Gwen Pinson
  • 2020-06-27

Witty and heartwarming

I laughed out loud at certain portions of this audio book. And then audibly sobbed while Short discussed the passing of his soul mate, Nancy. Having been a fan of his from a young age (my cousins and I used to watch The Three Amigos over and over again, and to this day, we still quote lines from the movie), it was delightful to get this intimate peek inside his world.

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  • Charles Pooter
  • 2018-12-13

heartbreaking

great story, but how many people have to suffer and die in one guy's life? it's enough to make anyone doubt the existence of a kind benevolent God!