Martin Short’s celebrity friends are rallying around the comedian after a viral article dismissed the Emmy winner as “unbelievably annoying.”
A Slate op-ed titled Why We Keep Putting Up With Martin Short went viral over the weekend, with Short’s name becoming a trending topic on X. In it, writer Dan Kois inexplicably took aim at the Hamilton-born Canadian Walk of Fame inductee lashing out at Short’s “over-the-top characters” — which have included Father of the Bride‘s Franck Eggelhoffer and Only Murders in the Building‘s Oliver Putnam — and called him “exhausting, sweaty and desperately unfunny.”
“Throughout his evolution from sketch-comedy standout to uneasy movie star to twice-failed talk-show host to enthusiastic song-and-dance man, I’ve wrinkled my nose,” Kois writes. “Every time he dresses up in a silly outfit or says something outrageous or mugs for the audience, I want to shout at the screen: Why are you being like this?”
Kois’ opinions immediately landed the writer in hot water with social media fans taking aim at the “hack freelancer” and accusing the magazine writer of “day drinking.”
“Hey Dan Kois, you may think that Martin Short is “unfunny,” but there are millions of us who know he is a comic genius! Hilarious. Gifted. Talented,” one person wrote, sharing a clip of Short in character as Jiminy Glick.
“Short is one of the funniest comedians/actors alive! He’s actually gotten funnier with age!” a second fan added.
A third person wondered if Kois wrote the article “for clout” and shared a scene from his appearance in Inherent Vice.
“Here’s maybe the hardest I’ve ever laughed in a theatre, courtesy of Martin Short,” they wrote.
As clips of Short from his many film and television appearances, including his time on SCTV and Saturday Night Live, made the rounds online, the actor’s Hollywood friends came to his defence.
“Martin Short is a comedic genius. End o story,” Ben Stiller wrote.
“Hard to believe people are actually debating whether or not Martin Short is funny. Newsflash: He is HILARIOUS,” Mark Hamill added sharing a carousel of some of Short’s most beloved characters.
“I don’t know what people are on about re Martin Short – But his Mr. Rodgers (sic) boxing match is my fav,” John Cusack continued.
Meanwhile, Succession actress J. Smith-Cameron weighed in saying that Kois’ assessment that Short’s “eager-to-please” delivery unintentionally ended up reminding everyone how funny he actually is.
“I came away with more appreciation of Martin Short than ever,” Smith-Cameron wrote.
Short, who currently stars alongside Steve Martin and Selena Gomez in the Emmy-nominated crime comedy Only Murders in the Building, got his big break as one of the cast members of SCTV, which also featured John Candy, Eugene Levy, Ricky Moranis and Andrea Martin, among other notable names.
In 1984, he joined SNL and throughout the ’80s went on to star in The Three Amigos, Innerspace and Three Fugitives. After plenty of film and TV roles, Short has toured on and off with his Only Murders co-star Martin since 2011.
“I find whenever I become friends with someone it’s because they’re really funny or really smart. Marty was… funny,” Martin told Postmedia in 2019.
“I think banter in a marriage might not be a good thing. If you were always cracking jokes or playfully teasing or putting each other down, that might not work. But in friendship, that’s a good thing. We know how to kid and it just seems to work,” he added.
In an interview with Postmedia a decade ago, Short reflected on his lengthy career saying that “doing different things” kept audiences interested in his work.
“When you start off, you’re just trying to work,” he said. “You’re not asking, ‘Do I want to do this?’ It’s more like, ‘Do I bring a suit or not?’ You’re just trying to pay your rent and keep acting.”
But now 73, he surmised that fans gel with him best when he is being funny.
“In comedy, we make this deal with people. We say, ‘We’ll make you laugh.’ To all of a sudden become an assassin seems like it’s too underlined. It’s too, ‘Oh, I get it, he’s not going to make us laugh this time, he’s going to make us frown.’
“Comedy is hard, dying is easy.”
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