Inside Steve Martin's Friendship With Martin Short

Steve Martin and Martin Short are both comedy legends. They have each starred in hit movies and TV shows. Oftentimes they've even shared the screen together. But even when the cameras aren't rolling, they truly are best friends.

According to Distractify, the duo's friendship dates back nearly 40 years, to when they first met in 1984. They briefly ran into each other backstage at "The New Show," a prime time show in the same style as "SNL." While this was a short and chance encounter, just a year later the pair would work together for the first time on the set of the film "Three Amigos!" This is where their friendship would truly begin to flourish. Martin, Short, and co-star Chevy Chase played a trio of best friends, and Short says they took that to heart. "In the movie we were supposed to be very close friends who live in the same house. So we consciously did that — we'd play Scrabble between takes in someone's trailer," said Short (via People). Although "Three Amigos!" didn't have the success that the star-studded cast would have hoped for, Short and Martin wouldn't wait too long to share the screen again. 

A dynamic duo

After the premiere of the film "Three Amigos!," Short said that the friendship they developed stuck. "Laughter is a great bonding mechanism. If you make someone laugh or they make you laugh, you want more of that," he said. "When the film wrapped, we started having dinners, the three of us and our wives. And it just continued on. There was never a phase where I didn't see Steve for a couple of years" (via People). They each found their own success both before and after the release of the film "Three Amigos!," but the relationship they forged on that set led to them teaming up once again.

Just five years after "Three Amigos!" was released, Short and Martin were back on the big screen together, starring in "Father of the Bride" (1991). This time the pair produced a hit. "Father of the Bride" went on to gross over $89 million at the box office worldwide, according to IMDb. This success led to Martin and Short reprising their roles, as father of the bride George Banks (Martin) and wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer (Short), for the sequel four years later. These first three films they starred in together laid the groundwork for their friendship that has expanded well past just acting together.

A lasting bond

Since their success with the "Father of the Bride" films, the duo has starred on "SNL," walked red carpets, and appeared on late night talk shows together. In 2015 Short was the presenter, delivering a speech, as Martin was awarded the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. Also beginning in 2015, the two began going on tour together and have now completed multiple tours as a comedy duo, as well as a Netflix special.

The whole time they have remained best friends. In an interview with People, Martin said of Short, "He's smart, he's funny. He has many friends. He's the most popular guy at your dinner party. If he's coming to a dinner party, it's a better dinner party. If Marty can't come, you cancel the party." Still to this day, 38 years after first meeting, Martin, now 77, and Short, now 72, continue to draw laughs from their crowd of fans. "We've done it so much now, live on stage, that we have a kind of third persona that emerges between us. We can just default to that when we're on camera. We know how to fight with each other on camera. We know how to like each other," Martin said of their rapport now (via Total Film).

Still going strong

Most recently they have been starring together in "Only Murders in the Building," a mystery comedy-drama that also features Selena Gomez. The trio start a podcast while investigating a murder that happened in the apartment building they all live in. Both Short and Martin have been nominated for the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for their roles. Both men, along with their co-star Gomez, also serve as Executive Producers for "Only Murders in the Building." This earned the three of them a nomination for the Emmy for outstanding comedy series as well.

Their hit show has been renewed for a third season on Hulu (via Esquire) so it seems likely that we haven't seen them act together for the last time yet. In an interview with Total Film, Short spoke on how rare their friendship is. "When you make a movie, you're intensely in people's lives for a few months, and often you never see them again for the rest of your life when the movie ends. In our case, we made a conscious effort to keep this joyful friendship continuing."