Comedy stars rush to defend Martin Short after a journalist calls him “desperately unfunny.”
You know what they say…everyone’s a critic. Meaning that, as inevitable as the sun rising each morning, there’s always going to be someone who simply is not buying what you’re selling. The cut of your jib just isn’t up to their snuff. That thing you do…the one that everybody else likes…well, this person hates it.
This was certainly the case for comedy legend Martin Short, who was the subject of an op-ed for Slate titled “Why We Keep Putting Up With Martin Short,” written by Dan Kois. In the piece, Kois described Short as “unbelievably annoying” “try-hard” and wrote that his “whole schtick” was “exhausting, sweaty, and desperately unfunny.”
Short, a Tony and two-time Emmy winner, is known for eccentric, over-the top roles. He first came to fame during his stint on “Saturday Night Live” playing characters like the greasy, unkempt Ed Grimley. And since then has brought the world a womanizing White House Press Secretary on “Mars Attacks,” a flamboyant German wedding planner in “Father of The Bride,” and most recently, a grandiose theatre director in “Only Murders in The Building”…to name a few.
It’s probably understandable that certain bold styles aren’t for everyone. It’s also pretty natural to have a few celebrities that truly grate you for whatever reason. But this article pulled no punches while decimating Short’s entire life’s work.
“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 wrote. “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?”
Luckily, Short has racked up a loyal following of regular fans and other comedy legends alike, and they all wholeheartedly disagree.
Following the scathing op-ed, fellow “SNL” alumni Ben Stiller took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to declare “Martin Short is a comedic genius. End o story.”
Martin Short is a comedic genius. End o story.
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) September 9, 2023
Referring one of Short’s characters from “Second City Television,” actor John Cusack also tweeted: “I don’t know what people are on about re Martin short – But his Mr. Rodgers boxing Match is my fav.”
I don’t know what people are on about re Martin short –
But his mr rodgers boxing Match is my fav
— John Cusack (@johncusack) September 9, 2023
Even Luke Skywalker came to Short’s defense. Mark Hamill wrote, “Hard to believe people are actually debating whether or not Martin Short is funny. Newsflash: He is HILARIOUS” alongside some photos of Short’s most well known characters.
Hard to believe people are actually debating whether or not Martin Short is funny.
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) September 9, 2023
As television writer Todd Spence pointed out, he is also funny while not playing characters, sharing a compilation of Short roasting his longtime collaborator Steve Martin.
Martin Short ripping Steve Martin for 2 minutes. If you don’t think this man is hilarious, you have no soul. pic.twitter.com/lQ2mNbsUHK
— Todd Spence (@Todd_Spence) September 11, 2023
“If you don’t think this man is hilarious, you have no soul.” Spence wrote.
All in all, The Martin Short fan club rallied in glorious fashion.
I think he will be remembered as one of the all time greats. I’m glad he’s getting this fanfare after that hatchet job of an article. He deserves every bit of it and more.
— Maureen Y. E. S. (Mo) (@HeroCallMovie) September 9, 2023
He’s a comedy god. Let’s ignore failed hacks. I absolutely love his turn in Arrested Development, so many, hilarious moments in his career, but for me that’s got to be my favourite.
— wayne ruddell (@ruddell_wayne) September 11, 2023
A Canadian treasure
— Danielle Savage (@ddlarue68) September 10, 2023
Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But it does raise the interesting question of: does it really do the world a favor to completely tear down someone simply because it doesn’t suit our tastes?
Either way, it doesn’t seem like Short is going to be too fazed. Certainly not after so many came together to praise him.
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