Martin Short opens up about ‘SCTV’ and hosting Canadian Screen Awards

Martin Short hosts the Canadian Screen Awards on March 9. Handout

TORONTO – The 40th anniversary of groundbreaking Canadian sketch show SCTV is coming up in 2016, but the general prospect of a cast reunion doesn’t seem that meaningful to Martin Short — only because the members of the troupe never drifted apart in the first place.

“I think what makes SCTV different than, I don’t know, let’s say the original cast of Saturday Night Live or something, the SCTV cast were close friends going into that show before we started,” Short said in a recent telephone interview.

“So Andrea Martin and I met in ’72 in Godspell, Eugene Levy is my best friend, Dave Thomas is one of my best friends, Catherine (O’Hara) is one of my best — we are all close friends. We’ve all been at each other’s weddings and births of children so there’s been a long, long, long connection and everyone socializes whenever they see each other, whenever they can.

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“It never went away.”

Not to mention the fact that the cast is missing at least one crucial member.

SCTV is part of John Candy and John’s not with us so it would seem weird,” said Short, speaking before the recent death of SCTV writer/performer Harold Ramis.

“It’d be like a Beatles reunion with just Ringo and Paul — it’s not a Beatles reunion. It’s Ringo and Paul.”

Speaking of standout Canadian TV, Short will once again help to fete the best in Canuck television and film at Sunday’s Canadian Screen Awards.

Sci-fi cloning saga Orphan Black leads the TV side with 14 nominations while Denis Villeneuve’s surreal mind-bender Enemy tops the film contenders with 10 nods.

Jay Baruchel, Viggo Mortensen, Jessica Pare, Jason Priestley and Shay Mitchell are among the stars expected to appear during the two-hour broadcast.

READ MORE: Who’s already won a Canadian Screen Award this year

The 63-year-old Short says he enjoyed himself steering last year’s inaugural gala, but doesn’t feign familiarity with all the nominees.

“My job is not to be the encyclopedia head of everything that’s nominated. My job is to be the host of the party that’s taking place on television,” he said. “But look, the reality is I live in Los Angeles. We don’t have Canadian television and I have a home in Muskoka, which I’m there for about three months a year and I don’t have a TV.

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“So it’ll make it tricky.”

His giddy turn at the first show nonetheless earned enthusiastic reviews.

Not that Short was paying close attention.

“I’ve never been defined by the admiration of strangers,” said the Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor.

“If I think something goes well and no one likes it, I don’t say: ‘Oh, I must be wrong.’ And it can be the opposite. People think you’re great and you’ll say: ‘Eh, I was OK.’

“But I think in general the ramp up to doing these kind of shows is what gets exciting and fun.”

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