Actor Martin Short turns 70

The Associates

Martin ShortMy favorite thing featuring comic actor Martin Short was not a sketch comedy or a movie. It was on something called The Associates.

The writer Ken Levine recently answered a question on his blog. The inquiry was about “sitcoms that lasted a single season that nobody watched that, in your estimation, showcased a certain or unusual style of humor that gave it a little something atmosphere-wise that made them little lost gems?” Levine included “THE ASSOCIATES created by the TAXI team” that starred a young Martin Short as “a standout in the late ‘70s.”

That was my recollection too, but I hadn’t actually SEEN it since that single 13-episode 1979-1980 season. The IMBD describes it. “Three young law school graduates who had just joined the prestigious firm of Bass and Marshall as associates… Tucker [Martin Short] was a Midwesterner slightly out of step with his Ivy League Colleagues, a little naive but very charming.

“Daughter of a poor New York family, Leslie [Alley Mills, Orson Bean’s widow]… felt for the oppressed… Sara [Shelley Smith] was a Boston blueblood, bright as well as sexy.” The “formidable but slightly dotty Senior Partner Emerson Marshall” was played by Wilfrid Hyde-White. The “dedicated junior partner Eliot Streeter” who wanted “to take over the firm” was future Murphy Brown star Joe Regalbuto.

Is it as good as I remember? Do any of you recall it? Here are episodes one and two and three and four and five, at least for now.


After that, Martin Short co-starred on the SCTV network in 1982-1983, with folks such as John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, and Andrea Martin. Then he appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1984-1985. This was an unusual move because SNL tended to pick unknowns, but that season, in addition to Short, the show featured Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest.

He went on to do movies such as the Three Amigos and Father of the Bride. But most recently, I know him best as the voice of the Cat in the Hat cartoon that was on PBS.

Presently, he’s been performing live with Steve Martin. They’d make a great JEOPARDY! “Before and After” clue. “This frequent SNL ‘wild and crazy’ host gigs with an SCTV and SNL star.” Who is Steve Martin Short? Short has a 2014 autobiography, I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend.

Martin Short turns 70 on March 26.

Private SNAFU

Dr. Seuss would have been 107 today!

Here are four of the 26 Private SNAFU (‘Situation Normal, All Fouled Up’) cartoons made by the US Army Signal Corps to educate and boost the morale of the troops. Originally created by Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Phil Eastman, most of the cartoons were produced by Warner Brothers Animation Studios – employing their animators, voice actors (primarily Mel Blanc), and Carl Stalling’s music.

Booby Traps (1944). Private Snafu learns about the hazards of enemy booby traps the hard way.

Snafuperman. Private Snafu mocks his peers who study, saying that he would rather fight. His guardian angel (1st class with a cigar) grants him the powers and a comical version of a Superman suit, which he promptly uses to create more problems than when he didn’t have any powers!

Spies (1943). Private Snafu, while drunk, reveals military secrets that allow the enemy to torpedo his ship.

The Home Front (1943). Private Snafu imagines the good times his family is having back home while he’s stationed in the Arctic. Technical Fairy First Class shows that even his family is helping with the war effort – his dad building tanks, his mom planting a Victory Garden, Grandpa riveting battleships, and his girl joining the WACs and even the family’s horse is pitching in.

Not incidentally, Dr. Seuss would have been 107 today. My daughter’s current favorite TV show is the PBS program The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! The Cat is voiced by Martin Short. Here’s the theme song.

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