Ottawa comic Tom Green says he can take a joke, as long as it's a funny one. Martin Short begs to differ.
And suddenly it looks like the fellow Canadian celebs are headed for a comic catfight, stemming from a four-year-old exchange on Short's now-defunct Comedy Central show Primetime Glick. This week Green launched a "Martin Short is Lame Game" and lashed out in his online diary about comments Short made about him in the May issue of W magazine.
"The sad truth is, Martin Short hasn't done anything funny since (former Saturday Night Live character) Ed Grimley," wrote Green on Tuesday. "I find it sad, that someone who admittedly was once very funny, can become so mediocre and lame."
Green is furious at Short and, on his website at least, says he'll only settle for a public apology after the W article promoting next month's release of Short's feature film Jiminy Glick in Lalawood.
Short says in the three seasons he played the fat, obnoxious, ill-informed celebrity reporter, Green was the only guest to take offence at his intentionally ignorant barbs.
At the time, Green had been telling jokes about his successful treatment for testicular cancer.
"So I asked about it," Short recalls in the piece, "and then I pretended to take a phone call during the answer."
In the article, due on Ottawa newstands April 26, Short says Green stormed off the set and refused to let the spot air.
Green, who briefly recounted the episode in his 2004 autobiography Hollywood Causes Cancer, says Short went a little further than that.
"He of course didn't mention that he was making fun of my cancer/one testicle etc. ... He just plays it off to people like I am some sort of jerk," writes Green. "I can say here right now, I have never walked off anything in my life, except that. He pushed hard, he pushed mean, and I left."
Green even got his long-time manager, Howard Lapides, to back up his story on his blog. Lapides calls the incident "a massacre" that blindsided his client.
"I can't believe Martin would have the balls to bring it up again," wrote Lapides. "But, Martin has two balls ...so it was easy for him to 'make fun of' those who only have one ..."
Short told W he was sorry Green was offended, but it didn't stop his Glick from making other stars uncomfortable for laughs. In the opening scene of Lalawood, W reports, the faux journo mistakes Whoopi Goldberg for Oprah Winfrey.
Short interviewed Green once before the Glick fiasco, on a talk show he briefly hosted. As Short and Green's fellow guest Steve Martin looked on, Green proceeded to honk like a goose with a box on his head.
Short once parodied Green on that talk show, pretending to play him in a skit where he interviewed his beleaguered parents after he'd had them kidnapped and taken to Afghanistan.
Green's faithful fans obviously have his back. Hours after Green posted his rant Tuesday, several fans had already sent in photos of themselves wearing "Martin Short is lame" T-shirts.