Martin Short to host inaugural Canadian Screen Awards

Comedian and Hamilton native Martin Short is set to host the first Canadian Screen Awards, which bring together Genie and the Gemini Awards.
The veteran Canadian funnyman is emcee of the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards, a new consolidated prize that celebrates homegrown film, television and digital productions and replaces the Genie and Gemini Awards. 7:19

Hamiltonians will see a familiar face when they tune in to the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards this Sunday: hometown boy Martin Short.

"These things are as much fun as you make them. The trick is you go out there and you set a tone and you make everyone feel loose and relaxed," Short said in an interview with CBC News.

"Then at a certain point you have to get out of the way, because the star of the show should be, and has to be, the people who have done the work."

The new Canadian Screen awards are a mashup of the Genies — Canada's annual film award honouring both French- and English-language productions — and the Gemini Awards, which honour English- and French-language TV and digital programming.

Mixing the two shows together seems to suit Short just fine.

"I'll tell you what no one is saying in the United States: 'If only we had one more award show,'" Short said.

"Anytime that you can combine awards shows into one is probably a good thing."

An awards gala that combines multiple industries isn't a new concept. The Golden Globe Awards, started nearly seven decades ago and hosted annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, recognizes excellence in both film and television.

Short also weighed in on Seth MacFarlane's much-lambasted hosting job from Sunday's Academy Awards. MacFarlane's edgy comedy proved a polarizing force on the show, with jokes about domestic violence, women's bodies and Jews in Hollywood offending some viewers.

The Oscars did get their biggest audience in three years, however, with particular growth among younger viewers.

"I thought he was hysterical," Short said. "To think that we're in a world where there are gun issues and wars — and we're worried about someone saying he 'saw my boobs?'"

"I think it's an overreaction. I think it's just silly."

Ever the funnyman, Short also couldn't help but give an ominous prediction about his own hosting prowess.

"Wait until you see what I'm going to do," he joked.

Catch the Canadian Screen Awards on CBC television at 8 p.m. EST Sunday.