We gave it a B-
Heavier than a mid-’80s Oprah, sweatier than Tony Danza during a cooking demonstration, and armed with worse questions than Larry King the night before a vacation, Jiminy Glick — Martin Short’s elephantine talk-show-host alter ego — has rolled onto the big screen, where he hits the Toronto International Film Festival (giving him an excuse to conduct typically clueless interviews with stars like Steve Martin and Kiefer Sutherland) and stumbles into a murder mystery. Short had long resisted making movies about his sketch characters: There was once talk of an Ed Grimley film, but Short decided that what he’d like to do had already been done perfectly in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. But after improvising scenes on his Comedy Central show with Jan Hooks as his wife, Dixie, he thought these characters might work in a feature. ”They were like a psychedelic Ma and Pa Kettle,” says Short, who also doubles as director David Lynch, an impression positively SCTV-ish in its accuracy and obscurity. ”Me courting the masses one more time!” quips Short.
The film was improvised à la Waiting for Guffman, though the raucous riffing proved hazardous to Short’s makeup. British director Vadim Jean recalls Short laughing so hard off camera at a twisted monologue by A Mighty Wind‘s John Michael Higgins that ”I saw him put his hands to his face to hold his prosthetic and run into the corner so it wouldn’t split.” Considering that shoving 10 doughnuts into his face fails to dent Jiminy’s makeup, those must have been big laughs.