His latest performance is in the new film Get Over It, which opens Friday. Short co-stars with Kirstin Dunst, Ben Foster, Sisqo and Colin Hanks (Tom Hanks' son).
Get Over It tells the story of a group of high school students who put on the school's spring musical, A Midsummer Night's Rocking Eve, based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night's Dream. Soon, life imitates art as the relationships between the kids acting in the school play mirror those in the original play.
"It's teen angst, but it's also about the drama teacher who, you know, guides this play," said Short. Short plays Dr. Desmond Forrest, a former stage actor whose career highlight was doing a one-man Hamlet. Forrest wrote the school play.
"He dresses way too young, he's like 45 but dresses like he's 25, because he's trying to be hip with the kids," says Short.
In Get Over It Short is mostly with actors and actresses who are the age of his own 17-year-old daughter.
He says aging doesn't bother him. "It's death that will be a drag," he quips. "But aging I don't care. What are you going to do? You do become wiser, I suppose. I think the worse thing you can do, particularly in show business, is fight aging. That's the whole face lift thing where you get this thing and suddenly you're pretending to be 24 and you really look like you've been in a severe fire. I think that's a mistake."
He claims he didn't give the young actors any advice.
"They saw my first dailies and they knew what not to do," he joked.
Short, who grew up in Canada, gained stardom while performing his nerdy character Ed Grimley and the showbiz promoter Jackie Rogers Jr. in the TV show SCTV in 1982 and 1983.
Later he joined Saturday Night Live, doing hilarious impressions of Jerry Lewis and Katherine Hepburn.
He's been in dozens of films since then.
Partial Martin Short filmography:
Alice In Wonderland (1999)
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Father of the Bride 2 (1995)
The Pebble and the Penguin (1995)
Money for Nothing (1993)
We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993)
Captain Ron (1992)
Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories, Vol. 5 (1992)
The Best of John Candy on SCTV (1992)
The Return of Spinal Tap (1992)
Father of the Bride (1991)
The Big Picture (1989)
Three Fugitives (1989)
Johnny Appleseed (1986)
Three Amigos! (1986)
The Outsider (1979)
Reading Rainbow: Animal Cafe
Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends: Johnny ppleseed
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