Martin Short and Seth Meyers spent some time reminiscing about “Saturday Night Live” on the most recent episode of “Late Night With Seth Meyers”.
“It’s crazy to me that you were only on ‘SNL’ for one year,” Meyers says to the 70-year-old Canadian comedian. “Because you certainly made a mark in your time there. Looking back at it, do you wish it had been a longer tenure at the show?”
“I do. I had a one-year contract,” the former “SCTV” star says. “Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer and I, and Rich Hall, had one-year contracts. And I think at that time, Dick Ebersol, it wasn’t Lorne [Michaels] had taken his five-year sabbatical on the show, they were just trying to keep it live. Eddie Murphy had left.”
“It was so stressful for me every week,” Short recalls. “I treated it like final exams. I think if I had known I was going to be there for five weeks I would have taken it easy. And I was a writer, too.”
Though Meyers says he believes Short would have been “just as tense” on a longer contract because there’s always the fear you could get fired.
“No one fires Marty Short,” the comedian jokes.
Telling a story about the pressure on the set of the live show every week, Short remembers a moment with Crystal up against the show’s deadline.
“Billy Crystal always tells one of his favourite moments he did was two in the morning at the read-throughs the next day — and in those days you had to slide the script under the door because they had to be typed — you had to slid it by 7 a.m., I think, on Wednesday morning,” he shares. “So it’s Wednesday morning, about four in the morning and he’s leaving and he knocks on my office door. He says, ‘How’s it going?’ and I say, ‘Oh, it’s good’ and he looked over my shoulder and it said, ‘Ed Grimley’s apartment – open on’ and nothing else.”
“It was complete and utter panic and then you have a great show Saturday and 48 hours later you feel like a failure because you have no ideas for Ringo the host or whoever,” Short says.
“Success was not a domino,” Meyers adds. “You can be as hot as possible on one Saturday and then ice cold.”
Short also detailed the inspiration behind his “SNL” character Nathan Thurm. Watch below.