Grimley grew out of an existing Second City sketch called “Sexist,” in which a male employer interviewed two candidates for a job, one an accomplished, over-achieving young woman played by the future SCTV star Catherine O’Hara, the other a flagrantly stupid man—“the joke being,” Short said, “that the guy who’s hiring says, ‘You’re both so good, I can’t make up my mind!’ ”Click "read more" for the part that made me laugh out loud.
Short’s version of the stupid man grew increasingly broad and outré with each performance, until he morphed into Ed, with his checked shirt (an artifact from Short’s actual teenage wardrobe), hiked-up trousers, hunched posture, and forelock greased straight up into a point. But as much of a hit as Ed was onstage, Short, by the time he joined the cast of SCTV, in 1982, had not played him in public for four years and was initially reluctant to do so again because, he said, “Ed had become a part of my life with my wife, Nancy.”....
“A part of your life with Nancy?”
“Yeah! So I’d come out of the shower nude … like this.” [Makes grimacing Grimley face.]
“With the hair sticking up?”
“Not even the hair—just nude.”
“Just doing the face and posture?”
“Just the face. And she’d say, ‘Ed, get outta here!’ Or sometimes we’d get into a fight, and she’d say, ‘I don’t want to talk to you. I want to talk to Ed! Ed, what is wrong with him?’ [Grimley voice] ‘Oh, he’s jealous of you, Miss Nancy. It’s very sad, I must say.’ This was a private thing. So when I joined SCTV, I thought it was now way too personal to do Ed.”
“Marty—are you saying that Ed Grimley had therapeutic value in your marriage?”