Saturday, April 9, 2016

I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend

I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy LegendI Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Listening to Martin Short read his own memoir is definitely preferable to reading it oneself. The "interludes" where Marty, as his friends call him, performs some of his more famous characters can't possibly translate fully to mere print. Likewise, you would lose so much of the life and emotion he brings to the stories and anecdotes he shares if you couldn't hear his voice.

However, it's not suitable for listening to when there are small children present because he occasionally "works a little blue" (as he would say) and swears a fair amount in parts.

I found this audiobook to be a really interesting history of Short's life and career. Much of it took place when I was very young and not aware of who he was--my most vivid memories of his work are of his character "Frahnk" the wedding planner in the Father of the Bride movies, as well as a few more recent characters. Most of the "interlude" sections would probably resonate more with listeners a decade or two older than I am, or perhaps with younger ones who've binged-watched his performances on Netflix or YouTube. This is why I rated it as a solid 3 stars for myself (3 1/2 really), but I would expect many people would rate it 4 or 5 stars.

My favorite thing about this audiobook is how Martin's love for his family, especially his wife, shines through. He acknowledges what a wonderful, supportive upbringing he had, despite some early devastating losses, and the whole second half of the book or so (it's hard to estimate with an audiobook!) is basically an homage to his wife "Nan." Some of his stories about her brought me to tears.

It's also quite the Who's Who of '80s and '90s Hollywood--the nice thing about being such a warm, loving couple is that the Shorts formed long-lasting friendships with a great many people, sometimes spanning from the 1970s to today.

For readers' advisors: character doorway is definitely primary. This is a great one to suggest to fans of Martin Short in particular but also anyone looking for a humorous autobiography/memoir. It does contain swearing, sexual references (nothing explicit), and some drug use.

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