Martin Short on hosting the Canadian Screen Awards: 'I like the danger of it!'

By Stefani Forster

After winning raves for hosting the Canadian Screen Awards last year, the pressure is on for Martin Short, 63, to knock it out of the park again as he returns to the MC gig (March 9, CBC). But as he tells HELLO! Canada, that suits the veteran comedian just fine: “I like the danger of it!”

What excited you about hosting the Canadian Screen Awards?
It’s live television therefore anything can happen. Besides, it’s always terribly gratifying for me to come back to Toronto to do anything. I have lived there primarily for half my life, and my son lives there. So I’m always happy to come.

What makes a great awards-show host?
I think you have to acknowledge right off the bat that you are not the star of the show. The stars of the show are the nominees and the films and television shows that are being honoured. Your job is to launch the show, to keep it moving, give people a good, solid opening and then get out of the way.

MORE: All the nominees for the Canadian Screen Awards

The most successful people who do these shows – Johnny Carson and Bob Hope with the Oscars and Steve Martin, Tina Fey, etcetera – their openings are 10 minutes or less. In Tina and Amy’s case [Tina Fey and Amy Pohehler hosting the Golden Globes], they’ll disappear for an hour. And people say, ‘See? They were the best,’ and it’s because we’d actually rather see them a little bit more.

Last year you hit the red carpet dressed as one of your characters, Jiminy Glick. Do you have a favourite character to play?
I don’t really… it’s as if you were an artist. I’m sure a painter likes every painting he’s created, and I kind of feel that way about my characters. Some are more fun to do or more current or more energizing, but they’re all a part of you.

What’s keeping you busy right now?
Steve Martin and I are doing some concerts together, but I’m starting a television series on Fox called Mulaney – it should air at the end of March.

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming Canadians in the entertainment industry?
Do not to take it personally when people don’t like you. It’s easier to say than to do it, but it’s just a business. If you take it personally, it will kill you. It’s important to protect yourself from negative energy in life. Don’t read reviews, don’t Google yourself, and then you’re fine.

Don't miss a beat with HELLO! Canada's Daily Hits newsletter, your daily dose of royal and celebrity news, fashion, weddings and more. CLICK HERE to sign up for free!