There seems to be two types of comedian in the world: the abrasive ass-hat who may be funny, but not particularly likeable in real life (see Larry David or Kathy Griffin); and the affable funnyman who you just want to have a beer with and maybe share an awkward hug (the late Gilda Radner, for example, or Steve Martin). I'm thinking Martin Short falls in the latter category. Throughout his comedy career, which dates back to the early 1970s, he's been a gentle spirit--satirizing Hollywood as Jimmy Glick and impersonating celebrities with zeal--but never really crossing into the viciousness that seems to characterize so many modern comedians. The once-aspiring social worker just has a kindness that seems to shine through, even in roles like Three Amigos' Ned Nederlander and Father of the Bride's eccentric Franck Eggelhoffer that don't necessarily require a great deal of humanity to pull off. Short, in short, just seems like a nice guy. And his participation in the Casa Mañana Laugh With a Legend gala does nothing to contradict this impression. The comedy legend will be performing to benefit the venerable Fort Worth theater, located at 3101 W. Lancaster, on Saturday during an annual event that also features dinner, cocktails, an auction and dancing until dawn. Tickets are $100 each, and can be purchased online at casamanana.org/gala.
Sat., Aug. 29, 6 p.m., 2009