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Martin Short and Steve Martin’s Best Collaborations, From ‘SNL’ to ‘Only Murders’

You may be surprised at when they have — and haven’t — teamed up

Steve Martin and Martin Short in a scene from Season 2 of Only Murders In The Building

Barbara Nitke/Hulu

Steve Martin (left) and Martin Short star in "Only Murders in the Building."

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Legends Steve Martin, 76, and Martin Short, 72, first met in the mid-1980s when they joined forces on Three Amigos!, and they quickly developed a zany rapport that called to mind some of the great double acts in comedy history. Over the years, they’ve collaborated on sketches and films, live tours and variety specials. Those decades of chemistry culminated in one of the surprise sitcom hits of the past few years, Hulu’s true-crime-inspired Only Murders in the Building, which returns for its much-anticipated sophomore season this month. Here, a timeline of their most side-splitting, gut-busting collaborations, from Three Amigos! to their current tour.

Three Amigos! (1986)

The premise: When bandits start terrorizing the Mexican village of Santo Poco, the townspeople reach out to an unlikely trio of silent Western film stars — whom they believe to be real heroes — for help. Lucky Day (Martin), Ned Nederlander (Short) and Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase, 78) misinterpret the plea as a job offer, so they break into the studio to suit up in their cowboy getups and head south of the border, where they find themselves facing off against a gang of outlaws. Critics didn’t love the comedy when it was released in 1986, but it’s since emerged as a cult favorite.

The best part: For a touch of the trio’s famed physical comedy, you can’t beat the scene in which they taste tequila for the first time and then perform the song “My Little Buttercup” for a saloon full of menacing banditos.

Watch it: Three Amigos! on Amazon PrimeApple TVYouTube


Saturday Night Live (1975-)

The premise: NBC’s long-running sketch show played a huge role in the early careers of both comedians: Martin Short was a cast member for one season (1984-85) after moving over from the Canadian equivalent, SCTV, while Steve Martin has hosted or showed up in quick guest spots nearly three dozen times since the ’70s. Surprisingly, the pair never shared a stage during Short’s brief stint, but they hosted together alongside Chevy Chase on Dec. 6, 1986. Over the years, they’d continue returning for cameos, especially in the recurring Five-Timers Club sketches, in which Steve is an esteemed founding member with 15 hosting spots under his belt and Martin is a lowly waiter (he’s only hosted three times).

The best part: Their 1986 joint monologue is a thing of irreverent beauty, especially the bit about Chevy’s recent stint in rehab.

Watch it: Saturday Night Live (Dec. 6, 1986) on Peacock


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Father of the Bride (1991), Part II (1995) and Part 3 (ish) (2020)

The premise: In this remake of the classic 1950 film of the same name, Steve Martin stars as shoe company owner George Banks, who begins to panic when his daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley, now 50), announces she’s getting married. Hilarity ensues as he and his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton, 76), plan the big day, and Short steals scenes as the eccentric wedding coordinator Franck Eggelhoffer, who’s loosely based on the real-life event planner to the stars Kevin Lee. They teamed back up in 1995 for the sequel, in which Franck plans the dual baby showers of Nina and Annie, and then once again in 2020 for the pandemic-era “mini-sequel,” which took the form of a Zoom family reunion. 

The best part: After George expresses concern about the $1,200 price tag for the wedding cake, Franck delivers his famous line, “Well, welcome to the ’90s, Mr. Banks!”

Watch it: Father of the Bride on Amazon PrimeApple TVYouTube


The Prince of Egypt (1998)

The premise: This epic biblical musical from DreamWorks Animation charts the life of Moses, from his fateful infant basket ride down the Nile to the eventual parting of the Red Sea and receiving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Among the many obstacles standing in his way are the manipulative high priests Hotep (Martin) and Huy (Short), who use trickery to ensure subjugation to the pharaoh. This wouldn’t be the first time Martin had a brush with ancient Egypt — of course, you’ll remember his uproarious 1979 “King Tut” sketch from SNL, which parodied the wildly popular “Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibit sweeping the nation.

The best part: Hotep and Huy have their big baddie moment with the production number “Playing With the Big Boys,” in which they sing about the powers of the Egyptian gods.

Watch it: The Prince of Egypt on Amazon PrimeApple TVPeacock


Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004)

The premise: One of Martin Short’s most indelible (and aggressively disagreeable) recurring characters is the clueless film critic Jiminy Glick, who vacillates wildly between fawning fandom and cutting insults as he interviews celebrities. In this cinematic sequel to his Comedy Central series, Glick finds himself embroiled in a murder case at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he interviews such celebrities as Whoopi Goldberg (66), Sharon Stone (64), Kurt Russell (71) and Steve Martin. They improvise a wickedly risqué interview about Steve’s first full frontal scene in the fake film-within-a-film Hot Havana Nights and the communists supposedly running Hollywood (ahem, Meg Ryan).

The best part: Stick around for the bloopers during the end credits, when Jiminy reduces Steve into a pile of giggles with non sequiturs like “What’s your kryptonite? Mine’s cheese Parmesan.”

Watch it: Jiminy Glick in Lalawood on Amazon Prime


Martin Short, Steve Martin, Kenan Thompson and Mikey Day in the Wyoming Skies sketch on Maya and Marty

Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

(Left tor right) Martin Short, Steve Martin, Kenan Thompson and Mikey Day during the "Wyoming Skies" sketch on "Maya & Marty."

Maya & Marty (2016)

The premise: NBC took a big swing when they tried to revive the prime time variety show format with Martin Short and Maya Rudolph at the helm. While the show only lasted six episodes, Steve Martin managed to guest star on half of them — and you won’t soon shake the image of Steve playing a ventriloquist with Marty as his dummy! Sadly, even though the show aired less than a decade ago, it’s tricky to find the episodes online, but you can still track down some favorites on YouTube.

The best part: In the Western sketch “Wyoming Skies,” a cowboy named Dutch (Martin) tries to sing a sad tale around the campfire, but his buddies (Short, Kenan Thompson and Mikey Day) have some constructive criticism about his performing style.

Watch it: Maya & Marty clips on NBC.com


Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life (2018)

The premise: The pair has been touring together since 2015, when they debuted their live act A Very Stupid Conversation. The show morphed over the years, eventually turning into this vaudeville-inspired variety special, complete with Hollywood stories, musical numbers, stand-up bits and plenty of hilarious jabs (“When I think of Steve, and it’s not often…”). Steve plays his banjo, Martin plays his Jiminy Glick, and audiences get to enjoy decades of nostalgic greatest hits. Tim Grierson of Rolling Stone put it best when he called it “showbiz comfort food.”

The best part: The show is one of the purest displays of their friendship and chemistry (they genuinely seem to find each other funny and laugh at each other’s jokes), even when they’re peppering the act with their trademark self-deprecation. Case in point: lyrics like “Everything they said made me wish I’d stayed in bed/But I’m glad I saw their show before they’re dead!”

Watch it: Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life on Netflix


Only Murders in the Building (2021–)

The premise: Semiretired actor Charles-Haden Savage (Martin), Broadway director Oliver Putnam (Short) and young renovator Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) share an address — the Arconia complex in the Upper West Side — and an obsession with true-crime podcasts. After one of their neighbors dies suspiciously and the police rule it a suicide, the unlikely trio decides to team up to investigate the potential crime, creating their own upstart podcast in the process. Martin and Short banter and bicker like an old married couple, and they’re joined by an impressive wild card cast of supporting players that includes Nathan Lane, Amy Ryan, Tina Fey and Sting … playing Sting.

The best part: For some grade A physical comedy, it’s hard to beat the action-packed Season 1 finale. We won’t spoil it for you!

Watch it: Only Murders in the Building on Hulu


Steve Martin and Martin Short

Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Today (2022)

The premise: Following their 2019 Now You See Them, Soon You Won’t tour, the funnymen are back out on the road through October with frequent collaborators pianist-keyboardist Jeff Babko and the Steep Canyon Rangers, a Grammy-winning bluegrass band that often accompanies Martin when he’s wearing his banjoist hat. In a recent interview with the Milwaukee Record, Martin admitted to being a little more nervous than Short about performing live. “What you contribute that gives you greater nerves, which I am envious of,” Short explained, “is that you care.”

The best part: You’ll have to grab a ticket and see for yourself!

Book tickets: You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Today on SteveMartin.com


Nicholas DeRenzo is a contributing writer who covers entertainment and travel. Previously he was executive editor of United Airlines’ Hemispheres magazine and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Sunset and New York magazine.