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June 14, 2011 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Norm MacDonald, master of deadpan comedy, tells Conan O'Brien a joke about a moth. Elsewhere, Norm roasts Bob Saget old-school.
posted by Rory Marinich (123 comments total) 110 users marked this as a favorite

 
That roast bit was comedy genius.

Furthermore, no one else I know or have ever heard of can make the name "Bruce Boxleitner" sound gut-bustingly hilarious. No one but Norm.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:47 PM on June 14, 2011


Norm MacDonald is awesome. Only he could get me to watch (and laugh my ass off at) a show about sports.
posted by brundlefly at 1:50 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Norm Saves the Interview
posted by starman at 1:52 PM on June 14, 2011 [22 favorites]


Holy shit. I just finished watching the video. That is a golden golden joke.
posted by brundlefly at 1:52 PM on June 14, 2011


What I like about Norm MacDonald is that he's totally deadpan and yet grinning like a loon the whole time. How does he even do that?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:55 PM on June 14, 2011 [50 favorites]


Norm Saves the Interview

Whoa, does Conan ... not age?
posted by odinsdream at 1:56 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love Norm. The comedy world wouldn't be the same without him.
posted by spiderskull at 1:56 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


with this bob saget thing, is he telling saget-like jokes, is that the joke?
posted by Danila at 1:58 PM on June 14, 2011


All in the tone and the timing. His voice is remarkable.
posted by penduluum at 1:59 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Bob Saget roast was probably the last truly funny roast CC ever did.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:59 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, the joke is that he's telling really old unfunny clean jokes. They're joke-book jokes. Basically the opposite of roast jokes.
posted by penduluum at 2:01 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Still disappointed the roasting of Bob Saget did not entail a spit and open flames.
posted by Trurl at 2:01 PM on June 14, 2011


And he's underselling them so hard that he's lapped himself.
posted by penduluum at 2:01 PM on June 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


The moth joke made tears are roll down my face. I'm so glad everyone else already left.
posted by tommasz at 2:02 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's so painfully unfunny it gets hilarious again.
posted by Justinian at 2:02 PM on June 14, 2011


What about Norm on the Dennis Miller show milleniums episode, probably his dirtiest work.
posted by nutate at 2:03 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The joke - well, part of it - is that Norm's telling the jokes people think are Saget-like.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:07 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


nutate, I have been waiting for that clip to show up on the internet for 11 years. That episode spawned an inside joke that has resulted in the defacement of every new notebook that has entered my house in the last decade. Thank you.
posted by annathea at 2:07 PM on June 14, 2011


Oh that first clip is a classic example of why I hate Conan. I would think he would know better than to step all over another comedian's jokes. But he doesn't know any better.

I don't think I've ever seen Norm be anything less than brilliant. Oh I wish he was still doing The Norm Show, it was the filthiest, most cynical thing I ever saw on primetime TV. But I think his greatest moment was his SNL monologue.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:08 PM on June 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


Well, I think Conan has the comedic chops to tell when he's fallen into a Shaggy Dog Joke. He's on a way stricter timetable than Norm.

Who, by the way, is fucking perfect for telling Shaggy Dog jokes. I love him deeply.
posted by absalom at 2:13 PM on June 14, 2011


The "old-fashioned" jokes Norm MacDonald told at the roast weren't just old-fashioned, they were the (then-) top search engine hits for "roast jokes". (I got curious and searched back when I saw the roast.) He literally Googled for the jokes and used whatever lame, least-common-denominator crap floated to the surface. And KILLED.
posted by The Tensor at 2:14 PM on June 14, 2011 [61 favorites]


they were the (then-) top search engine hits for "roast jokes".

Holy fuck that's great.
posted by penduluum at 2:15 PM on June 14, 2011


I hate the Comedy Central has such an (apparently - I can't use it) awesome website that redirects Canadians to the much, much shittier site with no search capabilities to actually find the video you want to see.
posted by jeffmik at 2:17 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Tensor: I'll be danged. http://halife.com/speakers/roast.html

hah.
posted by nutate at 2:20 PM on June 14, 2011


I believe Norm spoke at length about Bob Saget roast on the Am I Right comedy show. It's out there on podcast and youtube, too.
posted by Old Man Wilson at 2:21 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn, is there anything that Norm doesn't improve? I'm still laughing at his Family Guy portrayal of Death, which was dead on. As it were.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:22 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, that "Norm Saves the Interview" is amazing.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:25 PM on June 14, 2011


The thing about Norm MacDonald is that his voice is infectious, as in, it gets into your mind and you can't stop hearing it.

After seeing Dirty Work, I couldn't get his phrase "I've never seen so many dead hookers in all my life!" out of my head, which is pretty fucking inconvenient because it's not something you can just work into casual conversation without either looking like a psycho, or explaining a lot of back-story, (or, more likely, both).
posted by quin at 2:25 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gooood joke!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:25 PM on June 14, 2011


I think I'm the only person in the world who does not find him funny. His voice is like nails on a chalkboard.
posted by Malice at 2:28 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Norm MacDonald is amazing. When I saw this post I thought I would have to defend him from all the legions claiming that he isn't funny at all, so it's a pleasant surprise to see everyone (on preview, everyone but one) digging him.
posted by dfan at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2011


My recent nirvana moment with Norm MacDonald was this:

Norm: "Oh, you're making a movie with Carrot Top? Let me guess the title...'Box Office Poison'."

(Conan and other guests die laughing, Conan tries to tell Norm they are here to PROMOTE this movie, and its starlet here..)

Starlet: "Actually it's called 'Chairman of the Board'."

Conan: (to Norm) "There! Do something with THAT, you freak!"

Norm: "I'll bet "board" is spelled 'B-O-R-E-D'."
posted by chronkite at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Not much of a Norm fan here, but the moth video was great. I'd love to steal it, but only a few of my closest friends would stick around long enough for me to get to the punch line.
posted by Gator at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I heard you have hair on your chest, Bob. Well, let me tell you something, that isn't your only resemblance to Rin-Tin-Tin.

...You're a fucking dog-face. How can you not get that?"
posted by Errant at 2:34 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Norm McDonald makes sure he's never invited back to host the ESPYs (~8 minutes, worth every one).
posted by auto-correct at 2:34 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooops. Norm hosts the ESPYs.
posted by auto-correct at 2:35 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Norm Saves the Interview"

Here's the full appearance: 22 odd minutes of Late Night with Groggy Norm MacDonald, with special guest Conan O'Brien.
posted by Iridic at 2:35 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


In my happy imaginings, Norm is the love child of Tim Conway and Christopher Walken.
posted by thebrokedown at 2:38 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Norm takes the classic joke delivery style of fifties and sixties stand-up comedians, but he runs it through some bizarre filter and comes up with gold. He's one of those comedians that seems like he's unrehearsed or lost track of the joke, only to nail the punchline. He takes the long road to most jokes, but makes the whole ride worth it. With hindsight the moth joke is so obvious, but I was broadsided by the punchline and laughed out loud. Loud enough to frighten the cats.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:42 PM on June 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Norm did a special on Comedy Central this year called Me Doing Stand-up, worth tracking down if you haven't seen it yet. Started watching it again after seeing this post and I'm still catching my breath.
posted by Lorin at 2:44 PM on June 14, 2011


I've always assumed that Norm McDonald - who I think is a freakin' comic genius, for the record - is just really, really high all the time, thus his laid-back, almost out-of-it vibe combined with the brilliant comic insight.
posted by kcds at 2:55 PM on June 14, 2011


OK Showin my age here but two of my faves Norm and Tom Snyder. If you can crack T.S. up you got to be funny.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 2:55 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


A recent AV Club interview.
posted by erikgrande at 2:57 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a fan of this interview done in questionable taste.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:59 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


The joke - well, part of it - is that Norm's telling the jokes people think are Saget-like.

Right. The public sees Saget as squeaky clean but Saget has long been a filth legend inside the industry (His appearance in the Aristocrats, far from being the "surprising" turnabout most people saw it as, was merely a rare public showing his normal mode of being). Norm's playing with the expectation in the room that everyone will be trying to out-filth Saget.

Norm has really been on a tear these past few years. Every time he shows up on late night recently he seems to just kill.
posted by anazgnos at 3:01 PM on June 14, 2011


The only reason I ever look at twitter is because of Norm.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:03 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always loved that "saves the interview" clip because I was working in a movie theatre when "Chairman of the Board" came out, and it was such a baffling experience. It was the only movie opening that week and it opened in our biggest room, and nobody had heard of it...no promo, posters, trailers of any kind. All us ushers were just amazed that the Carrot Top movie was the biggest thing Hollywood had to offer for that week. I took it upon myself to take periodic dips into the first showing and excitedly report to the concierge and box office about the unbelievable mishaps Carrot Top was getting into.
posted by anazgnos at 3:10 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The public sees Saget as squeaky clean but Saget has long been a filth legend inside the industry.

So, so true. Most people have no idea. I mean, NO idea.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:13 PM on June 14, 2011


I remember being about ten or something and in a hotel room with my sister while my parents were out having dinner. We're flipping through the channels, and hey, they have HBO, we don't get HBO. And hey, Bob Saget stand-up, that's the guy from Full House, this will be wholesome entertainment of the sort our parents would not mind.

I discovered a few things that day. One, to my surprise, it is actually possible for Indians to blush. Two, there are a lot of words for penis. Three, Bob Saget knows all of them.

About the time he started discussing a woman using his pubic hair as dental floss, my sister turned off the TV. But it was too late. I can draw a straight line between that night and this one, which runs right through whiskey, cigarettes, and questionable evening activities. Thanks, Bob Saget.
posted by Errant at 3:22 PM on June 14, 2011 [22 favorites]


That's right, Comedy Central, redirect me to the fucking front page of comedycentral.ca.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:24 PM on June 14, 2011


Er, I mean thecomedynetwork.ca
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:24 PM on June 14, 2011


Is this it?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:26 PM on June 14, 2011


I translated and retold the moth joke in German.

It killed.
posted by chillmost at 3:31 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Since we're on bob saget. A decade ago attractive acquaintance of mine once gave her phone number to Bob Saget. He called her, a lot.
posted by nutate at 3:34 PM on June 14, 2011


To be fair, props to Courtney Thorne-Smith for "It's like 9 1/2 Weeks with Carrot Top."
posted by The Bellman at 3:37 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm begging everyone here (who hasn't already done so) to check out Dirty Work. It is an absolute tour-de-force of absolutely ridiculous things that would be horribly unfunny if not for Norm.

The AV Club put it best: "Norm MacDonald's Career Died For Your Sins".
posted by graphnerd at 3:43 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, man, that Daily Show interview Bookhouse posted (less reputable link here) just kills me. Mostly for the fact that it was done recently enough after Steve Irwin's death that Jon Stewart has to literally beg Norm to stop making him laugh in front of the audience.

A close second is the "that thing that makes me feel like God" line from "Me Doing Stand Up". Oh my did that one hit me like a sledgehammer.
posted by quite unimportant at 3:58 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Norm Ruins the Promos.
posted by Errant at 4:02 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Still trying to find video of his joke about a guy who kills his family because Satan told him to. Satan turns out to be his best friend Bob in a Satan mask. One of my all-time favorites.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 4:04 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


God, oh God, (wipes tear from eye) those are great clips. I love Norm MacDonald.

One of the last times they had him doing Weekend Update on SNL, he did a bit where "escaping prisoners" took a long time to get away because they had to stop and repeatedly "anally rape" each other. There was almost total silence from the audience, and I almost fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard.

He is the anti-comedian.
posted by Xoebe at 4:06 PM on June 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


A close second is the "that thing that makes me feel like God" line from "Me Doing Stand Up". Oh my did that one hit me like a sledgehammer.

Funniest thing I have seen in a long time...Sadly was unable to find a working link and being in Canada doesn't help when it comes to Comedy Central stuff.
posted by Lorin at 4:14 PM on June 14, 2011


Oh my christ, Norm is my hero. That was an absolutely genius joke.

I love how when he appears on a talk show or whatever, he so clearly is making the host and all the other guests just a little bit nervous, like they can't wait to hear the next screwed up thing he's gonna say but are also a little afraid of it.

I can't find the video anywhere (reckon NBC is trying to destroy any evidence Conan ever hosted any shows on their network) but Norm's last appearance on Late Night was amazing - he addressed the elephant in the room then started actively poking at it, telling Conan who amazing it was the "Jay Leno had outfoxed him again" - you can almost see the "You're right but please shut up" rays coming out of Conan's eyes. And sure enough, Norm was proven right mere months later.

What I wouldn't give to hear he and Conan speaking off the record about their experiences getting screwed by NBC.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:38 PM on June 14, 2011


Sports Show is freaking awesome.
posted by dig_duggler at 4:55 PM on June 14, 2011


Dunno. I had one of the saddest moments in my comedy life with Norm MacDonald, when I sat completely deadpan (really) and straight faced through a Weekend Update, the SNL skit I have found consistently funny for decades.

I would have said he phoned it in, but he was sitting there.
posted by Samizdata at 4:59 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't find the video anywhere (reckon NBC is trying to destroy any evidence Conan ever hosted any shows on their network) but Norm's last appearance on Late Night was amazing

Here you go. Just a portion of it, but it's the bit you were talking about. And, yeah, it's real good.
posted by Errant at 5:05 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


EatTheWeak: Here's the full bit, But remember that discussion where you said you'd never have to f***ing follow Leno again?
posted by Grimgrin at 5:07 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


How bout the worst joke ever told?
posted by gman at 5:09 PM on June 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


Dirty Work is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I laughed until tears were streaming down my face on two separate occasions during the film. For me, though, the line that stuck with me, and I've yet to have a chance to use is: "I see you forgot about my loyal army of prostitutes!"
posted by Ghidorah at 5:15 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


gman: "How bout the worst joke ever told"

Holy cow. That's hilarious.
posted by brundlefly at 5:25 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


That moth joke is hilarious; what a delivery.
posted by carter at 5:51 PM on June 14, 2011


I went to tell my roommate about it, and forgot about telling her it was a moth - so I delivered the punchline and said "oh yeah, it was a moth" and she laughed and said that could've been part of his original routine, which was kinda funny cuz I could see that! LOL...

God Norm is awesome. I forgot how great he is.
posted by symbioid at 6:00 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite Norm MacDonald Weekend Update jokes was "Coming in at number one on the alternative charts this week was Better Than Ezra. At number two, Ezra."

His delivery, natually, was killer.
posted by Spatch at 6:38 PM on June 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


I always thought the joke with Norm's Saget roast was that while everyone else was insulting Bob Saget as explicitly and crudely as possible, Norm showed up with the crappiest, lamest jokes ever--to a putative celebration of Saget's career. So he was being insulting by putting so little effort into his routine. In any case, I enjoyed it.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:54 PM on June 14, 2011


I forget who said it, but there was a priceless moment after Norm's roast of Saget when one of the other comics said, "Norm, what the hell was that? That was like watching Peter Fonda pick blueberries"

Norm retorted: "Who here wouldn't love to watch Peter Fonda picking blueberries?"
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:02 PM on June 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


My favorite of his SNL bits was where he set up a joke a year in advance.

First year he reported on some magazines annual survey of the best jobs in the world and then the joke was, "And for the 4th year in a row, the worst job ... crack whore"

A year later the same magazine puts out the same list and he says "and a surprise new entry for the worst job in the world ... assistant crack whore"
posted by Bonzai at 7:22 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Norm MacDonald said that Brandon Teena (the young trans guy who Boys Don't Cry was written about) deserved to die. That's unforgivable.
posted by jiawen at 7:39 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't believe I'm the first person to post Norm MacDonald on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire! (part two, part three)
posted by yaymukund at 8:31 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jiawen, I don't think you (and other outraged people) are getting the joke. (at least as I see it)

Imagine a more extreme version:

"A man was sentenced to death for the machete killing of Mother Theresa, who had previously accused him of stealing from the church. This may sound harsh, but that bitch really had it coming."

In other words, he is taking on the air of a completely over-the-top blame-the-victim type. There were undoubtedly a lot of bigots who probably *did* think Brandon deserved to die, but I doubt anyone could have possibly said that the amputee and the mother of the infant deserved it. He's saying something so completely stupid, in order to aim a spotlight at the stupidity of the entire rationale. (at least that's my take on it)
posted by ShutterBun at 8:32 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


"(at least that's my take on it)"

Trans people are subjected to the kind of crap MacDonald said on a near-continual basis. There's a pervasive, persistent narrative that our lives are worthless, that we're deceivers or worse, that we're worth killing. MacDonald's comments played into that. If he wanted to poke fun at transphobia, there are vastly better ways of doing it. Heck, if he wanted to poke fun at trans people, there are vastly better ways of doing it. Ways that don't actually strengthen the idea that we deserve to die.
posted by jiawen at 9:13 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


charlie don't surf: Oh that first clip is a classic example of why I hate Conan. I would think he would know better than to step all over another comedian's jokes. But he doesn't know any better.

Oh man. What made this even better was the way Norm told him to shut up. He's trying to tell it, and Conan is yucking it up and keeps interrupting and when he repeats one of Norm's lines, Norm responds "You are correct." I'm surprised nobody's pointed out yet - this is an old school Ed McMahon line from Johnny Carson. It's Norm saying, "hey, you spaz - this is my bit, and you're turning me into the sidekick. It's my bit. Shut up for a minute." And Conan, a huge Carson fan, finally gets it, and he does. And then the joke goes on, and Norm totally kills.

Completely masterful.
posted by rkent at 9:17 PM on June 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


I knew a guy in high school who told similar jokes. One in particular ("the circus joke") that started, "There once was a little boy who loved the circus more than anything else in the whole world." He could spin that sucker for 10 minutes, making it different every time adding references to recent events and ending it with a really, really lame punch line, but it was always funny. Others tried to re-tell it, and failed. I now realize he must've been studying up on Norm MacDonald.
posted by smirkette at 9:24 PM on June 14, 2011


Norm was pretty damned funny on The View as well.
posted by Scoo at 9:43 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bonai,

(in the spirit of Farley): youuuuuu bastaaaaarrrrd! I really wanted to bring that year-long punchline up. That was the greatest comedy setup in American (to be fair, probably Canadian-American) history.

That sequence of jokes (more than anything) solidifies the fact that Norm is the 90's/00's/10's version of Andy Kaufman. While others (like Zak Galifinakis, who I actually think is funny) have tried to copy the tactics of Kaufman, only Norm has adapted it to the post-SNL scene. He's a fucking treasure.

****

Postscript: I don't remember the context, but during one Weekend Update bit, there was a story about something that was gross, and the punchline was "...this according to 'Things That Make Me Vomit' magazine'". And the image above his head was Corel Draw-ed magazine cover with his face, and one of the magazine features was 'Twelve Shots of Tequila'. That was absolutely hilarious, and presaged both the Onion and the Daily Show.

Respect the Norm, everybody.
posted by graphnerd at 9:44 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always enjoyed (NSFW) this one (NSFW) from the Denis Miller show.
posted by cloax at 9:48 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]



Postscript: I don't remember the context, but during one Weekend Update bit, there was a story about something that was gross, and the punchline was "...this according to 'Things That Make Me Vomit' magazine'"


That was in reference to Luciano Pavarotti saying he enjoyed running naked on the beach with his new girlfriend.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:50 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks, ShutterBun.
posted by graphnerd at 10:06 PM on June 14, 2011


Oh man. Can't find one with video, but here's Norm's monologue from when he hosted SNL a year and half after he was fired. Again, with the elephant in the room and the tension and stuff. He works with discomfort the way other artists work in clay.

(Also: fuck you all over again Don Ohlmeyer, you piece of shit enemy of laughter. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.)
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:43 PM on June 14, 2011


Well, to be fair, MacDonald bombed pretty consistently with the live audience during his SNL Weekend Update segments. Sure, the right fans got the jokes, but there just weren't enough of us, it seems.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:50 PM on June 14, 2011


.... or so the Germans would have us believe.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:55 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, to be fair, MacDonald bombed pretty consistently with the live audience during his SNL Weekend Update segments. Sure, the right fans got the jokes, but there just weren't enough of us, it seems.

Yeah, I remember trying to explain to everybody why I was laughing so hard. These days people kill with that anti-joke joke stuff. Oh well.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:01 PM on June 14, 2011


Norm is awesome, and I loved his performance at the roast. Still, though, I think the best bit at a roast was from Stephen Colbert, before he started doing his character all the time.
posted by heathkit at 11:04 PM on June 14, 2011


Norm MacDonald said that Brandon Teena (the young trans guy who Boys Don't Cry was written about) deserved to die. That's unforgivable.

Oh, man! And have you heard about this guy who said we should solve our economic problems by eating babies?!
posted by EmGeeJay at 12:23 AM on June 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


EmGeeJay: Having made this analogy, you are therefore surely aware that Swift was Irish. There is a difference between a member of an out-group using humor to address the issues of that out-group and and a non-othered individual playing on the prejudices of the audience towards an other for laughs. I did not and do not have a problem with MacDonald going there, as it were, but to equate all satire as the same is to obliterate the context that makes satire remotely useful.
posted by Errant at 12:45 AM on June 15, 2011


I knew a guy in high school who told similar jokes. One in particular ("the circus joke")

I used to tell that joke all the time when I was a teenager, and actually thought about it earlier today for the first time in years after watching the moth video.

To make your very own circus joke: have the little boy go to the circus, get insulted by his hero Bobo the clown, intricately plot revenge on Bobo for years (details are your friend) and finally confront the clown, only to tell him "Fuck you, you stupid fucking clown." As smirkette said, it's all in the telling. Basically, your ability to cook up red herring after red herring.

It can absolutely kill.
posted by joechip at 12:46 AM on June 15, 2011


Bill Cosby had a similar one on one of his old albums, called "revenge." It involved payback for a slush-ball being thrown at him. After months of plotting, his original plan having been foiled, he finally just goes outside and spits on the other kid.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:54 AM on June 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is a difference between a member of an out-group using humor to address the issues of that out-group and and a non-othered individual playing on the prejudices of the audience towards an other for laughs.

I dunno, it works for Din Rickles.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:03 AM on June 15, 2011


Norm at Club Helium in Philadelphia. The angles are weird cuz the dude was sneaking the footage, but that doesn't screw the jokes up.
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:26 AM on June 15, 2011


Din Rockles I think you mean.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:07 AM on June 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Which incidentally is the name of the music venue I'm opening.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:08 AM on June 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I hate the Comedy Central has such an (apparently - I can't use it) awesome website that redirects Canadians to the much, much shittier site with no search capabilities to actually find the video you want to see.
posted by jeffmik at 10:17 PM on June 14


Top tip: Use Firefox. Download and install the "Modify Headers" plug-in. Restart Firefox. Select Tools-> Modify Headers. Enter the following:

First text box: X-Forwarded-For
Second text box: 12.13.14.15

Click "add"

Make sure that there's a green dot showing to indicate active.

Leave this window open

Run your Comedy Central video in Firefox. Presto, the internets win again.
posted by Decani at 2:26 AM on June 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


All of you talking about the roast are wrong about his intentions.

The reason he makes such a deal out of "it says here on this card" is because the comedians don't write the jokes, they are told to just tell the ones written for them. Kat Williams goes over this in detail when talking about the flava flav roast.

So Norm was lampooning the absurdity of not letting comedians write jokes - in that perfect "this shit is so stupid" way that he did during his SNL days.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 3:58 AM on June 15, 2011


Yeah, Conan is stepping all over that joke. The "You are correct" shuts him up for a second but he does it AGAIN later on and Norm just looks at him.

Also, I know how he can grin and be deadpan the whole time. It's because he's telling you two jokes at once. The first joke is the words coming out of his mouth and he tells that deadpan. The smile is telling you the second joke, which is "we both know I'm this smart and funny but I'm STILL telling this stupid joke".
posted by DU at 4:48 AM on June 15, 2011


A brief History of Celebrity Jeopardy, which was created just for Norm's Burt Reynolds impression.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:20 AM on June 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


His cameo in the most recent edition was just amazing.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:47 AM on June 15, 2011


I kinda want to see that Collective Soul performance from the "Norm Saves the Interview" episode of Conan.
posted by antifuse at 8:07 AM on June 15, 2011


Also, super annoyed that those Hulu clips of SNL Jeopardy can't be viewed in Canada. GOD DAMN YOU HULU.
posted by antifuse at 8:20 AM on June 15, 2011


A year later the same magazine puts out the same list and he says "and a surprise new entry for the worst job in the world ... assistant crack whore"

And then ANOTHER year later... "crack whore trainee."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:37 AM on June 15, 2011


Heh. That clip from the View is awesome. I'd watch the View religiously if he were on it. It's like the hosts of the View automatically provide him set up after set up.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 10:39 AM on June 15, 2011


Norm learns a new word and does his Cosby impression on David Letterman after being let go from SNL.
posted by jpdoane at 11:52 AM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hated hated hated Norm taking over Weekend Update back in the day. I had grown up loving Kevin Nealon's straightfaced newsman character and that was what WU was as far as I was concerned, and so the change to Norm was like a cold shower. Just absolutely not what I signed up for. And since that was the most notable thing I knew about Norm at the time, I pretty much wrote him off as That Guy Who Ruined Weekend Update.

I've come around; at some point in the last few years I'd had enough time away from his work and watched enough other comedy that I was able to look at what he was doing as its own specific thing, and something clicked. I love the shit out his work now, I love his riffing. I wish I could have watched those old SNL news bits with the attitude I have now because I think I would have loved 'em.
posted by cortex at 2:44 PM on June 15, 2011


Hahaha... I just did an image search for Don Ohlmeyer, and the first page of results is a picture of Norm! LOL...
posted by symbioid at 2:48 PM on June 15, 2011


I wish I could have watched those old SNL news bits with the attitude I have now because I think I would have loved 'em.

Netflix Instant has added dozens (maybe hundreds) of SNL episodes to their library recently. So it's never too late.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:54 PM on June 15, 2011


Man - I love him! That interview at the Onion was great - with the "If you didn't know it was called Seinfeld, you'd think it was Costanza" and my favorite bit... how I live:
"The great thing about the computer is that you only need enough money to buy a computer and some food, and you’re all right."
posted by symbioid at 3:14 PM on June 15, 2011


So, I saw this post earlier while I was at work and favourited it, 'cause it's going to have loads of Norm MacDonald links and vids. I get home and the fucking second link is not available in my country. FUCK YOU internet, go down to the pharmacy and buy youself a bottle of cop-on would you, and then cop the fuck on. FUCK. Sorry Rory, but I'm taking my fucking favourite back and gonna give it to some poor boy on the street. And I'm quitting smokes today, but not in your fucking country.
posted by Elmore at 3:23 PM on June 15, 2011


Oh, and thanks to everyone who posted internet friendly links and vids.
posted by Elmore at 3:24 PM on June 15, 2011


But Elmore, I'm a podiatrist. Why are you telling me this?
posted by cortex at 3:27 PM on June 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


I still haven't had a smoke.

Links are great.

Because I love Donald Sutherland and his ilk.
posted by Elmore at 4:26 PM on June 15, 2011


The blue light was on.
posted by Think_Long at 4:29 PM on June 15, 2011


Speaking of roasts.. Took me a while to find this, Norm at the White House Correspondent's Dinner Part 1 Part 2. Note: he immediately followed Clinton, and he's obviously nervous. Some of this humor too topical and a bit dated.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:51 PM on June 15, 2011


The best thing about that Norm at the White House thing is his Larry King and Waitress gag that, it seems to me, he's tucked away to recover quickly from a string of two or three misses. Pro.
posted by absalom at 8:06 PM on June 15, 2011


Oh he nailed quite a few jokes, but they're kind of insider jokes with this audience. You probably have to remember the context, like Bryant Gumbel leaving the Today Show.

"But of course, looking around the room, I also see many distinguished members of the Fourth Estate. I see Bryant Gumbel is here, and he just signed a multiyear contract of course with CBS, and you know he took some time off to be with his family after the Today Show. But Bryant, in his heart, you know, is a Newsman, and after a few weeks he realized that he missed the excitement and thrill you can only get by making millions and millions of dollars."
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:59 PM on June 15, 2011


I like how Norm took an old joke and reworked it into that long-ass piece. Well done!

Here's the one I remember:

A guy walks into a dentist’s office and flops right down on the couch.

“Doc”, he says, “Here’s the problem. I think I’m a moth”

“Well”, says the doctor, “That certainly is a problem, but why did you come into a dentist’s office?”

“The light was on.”

posted by orme at 4:21 AM on June 16, 2011


Well, shit.

Buzzer sounds on 'Norm Macdonald,' 'SportsDome'
posted by brundlefly at 12:33 PM on June 21, 2011


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