I had the absolute honour of interviewing the legendary Canadian actor/comedian Martin Short today! He was here in Toronto to promote Canada’s Got Talent, which premiers in March, and I can’t wait — Martin, Dina Pugliese (the beautiful host of the show), and Martin’s spectacular co-judge, opera star Measha Brueggergosman, were all there psyching us all up for what’s sure to be an entertaining show!
Martin was a little tired by the time it was my turn to interview him (he’d been getting over a cold and there were so many interviews!), but he was as hilarious and adorable as I’d imagined he’d be the whole time. He even gave us an accent reminiscent of FRANCK EGGELHOFFER, for just a moment. Ready for the interview? CHECKIT!
What are you looking for as a judge of Canada’s Got Talent?
I’m looking for someone who will ultimately seem to stand out and have something that’s so remarkable you can’t help but say they seem like the winner.
Do you have any hidden talents?
No, at this stage there’s nothing that someone hasn’t seen more than once.
What do your kids think about you being a judge in the show?
They think it’s cool, they think it’s fun! My son Henry (21) is here. He came to Vancouver and Toronto, so he’s had a ride.
Will they watch the show?
Probably not. They all live in the United States. But we’ll get DVDs. I’m sure! If that’s not in my contract, I have the worst representation.
Our readers are loving you as the Cat in the Hat! Can tell us how this role came about for you?
It’s very interesting. That’s a very strict family who controls Cat in the Hat. I actually had to put my voice on tape, and they had to approve it. There was a pretty good indication that they might say yes; but if they didn’t like my interpretation, they weren’t going to say yes based on my resume. They’re very protective, as they should be. In fact, The Cat in the Hat had never been animated since the original Disney animations of the 1950s. And the prototype of the animation has to be very exact to their approval. So with that kind of watch guard, I think it’s why the show’s been very successful.
What were your favourite books to read to your kids when they were little?
All the Cat in the Hat stuff. Sincerely! It really was. And Peyton Place. I had a wide, wide, wide range.
Father of the Bride is definitely a family favourite! Which of your films is a classic in your household?
Well, I don’t show my films in my household because then you’re always watching and saying, “They went with that take, huh?” So, I remember my son Oliver coming home at 11 years old, and saying, “Hey, Dad, did you know you once made a western?” Because he had never seen Three Amigos — because I never showed it to him. So, no, we don’t sit around like Sunset Boulevard, and keep screening my stuff.
Which of your characters did your kids love the most growing up?
Clifford. Clifford. [Smiles.]
What does your family like to do at your cottage in Muskoka?
Swim, hunt — hunt…, no! Swim, fish, boat, sip cocktails and watch movies.
We also talked about how Martin’s looking forward to going to Halifax on the Canada’s Got Talent tour, how, contrary to popular belief, his daughter Katherine is not an aspiring actress but a therapist (acting wasn’t for her in the end), and that he’s “easily wowable” as a Canada’s Got Talent judge!
In addition to Canada’s Got Talent (which debuts March 2012), you can catch Martin on sitcoms How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men.
Have you or your kids GOT TALENT? Check the Canada’s Got Talent website for audition dates and deets!
PS: Huge thanks to Laura Grande (Editorial Assistant, Todaysparent.com) for joining me today and snapping these great photos!