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LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN

The Jester Strikes
Every good story has to have a villain. Played deftly and with comedic brilliance by Martin Short, the Jester is desperate to reverse a curse placed on him by his sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, confining him to a jester suit for life and making him something of a laughing stock. With the magical combination of his late sister's broomstick and a stolen scepter, the Jester has captured all of Oz's leaders, including Glinda, finally approaching the power that has eluded him his entire life. However, he knows his most dangerous adversary is still out there, and if anyone can stop him, it's Dorothy Gale!

"The Jester is so oily, and villains do suck you in with their charm. So I think that whenever you play a bad guy, you can't play just one-note evil. They can weasel you in with their sweetness, but then their true inner self takes over," says Short. "We're blessed to have secured the talents of Martin Short to play the Jester," enthuses Radford. "He can take on a persona and make a character out of anything."

The wicked fun that Short had with his role was all to serve the noble goal of creating a worthy follow up to the 1939 film. "Whenever you follow a classic with another version of it, it has a huge legacy to follow, and it's tough if you're making anything that continues the story from something that's so revered. This is done with spectacular care in this film. The script is strong, and the songs are strong, and I think that the cast is very strong. All the right ingredients are there to make it a proud follow up."

Another legacy was continued with the reuniting of Short with his fellow SNL/SCTV alumni, Aykroyd and Belushi. "Marty was the most talented of all of us at Second City," says Aykroyd. "He could really sing, dance, he is a tremendous comic impressionist and a great actor. I'm a big fan of his work and really, really excited by his performance as the Jester." Belushi concurs: "Marty's probably the funniest man alive right now. He just chews the scenery. Marty makes me laugh, and I'm so glad to be in LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN with him."

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