"When I do my act, I never think of a f*cking ending."
June 29, 2013 5:00 PM   Subscribe

I always thought Macdonald was too smart for TV and he knew it and that was the joke.
posted by DU at 5:22 PM on June 29, 2013 [10 favorites]

That is really interesting. I know there is a MeFi book club but I would like clubs run by individual peeps. Doesn't have to be books,could be movies, comics, albums or even paintings. There are a couple services, everyone go create a club.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:54 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you miss him on tv, check out his very active YouTube channel (all episodes) with hour-long interviews with Russell Brand, Billy Bob Thornton or Gilbert Gottfried, and more.
posted by KMB at 5:58 PM on June 29, 2013 [6 favorites]

I loved that article and I now love Norm Macdonald.
posted by mecran01 at 6:12 PM on June 29, 2013

I would love to see someone interview he and his brother, or better yet, have them interview one another. They're both pretty interesting and bright guys.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:23 PM on June 29, 2013

too smart for TV

Worth noting, Norm's brother is Neil Macdonald, one of our better journalists. Smart family.
posted by philip-random at 6:24 PM on June 29, 2013 [6 favorites]

His performance at the Saget roast was awesome. I will always love him for this.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:15 PM on June 29, 2013 [15 favorites]

Fearlessness in comedy is the sign of true greatness.

I am always surprised that Norm can wear regular pants with balls that big. He has never failed to make me sit smiling, slack-jawed with awe, unable to laugh. The insurance commercials are all classic.
posted by djrock3k at 7:28 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Norm's Albert Fish story (5 min, beginning at 1h5m25s)

Absolutely must-watch.
posted by anazgnos at 7:46 PM on June 29, 2013

Norm Macdonald is a genius. Even if the only thing he had ever done was that Roast, he'd still be known as a genius.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:09 PM on June 29, 2013

The Roast and the Moth Joke. Oh, lord, the Moth Joke.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 8:46 PM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Unfortunately, Norm MacDonald has had very unpleasant things to say about women and comedy. Again. Again.

I always liked Norm MacDonald, but I have no patience anymore for any comedian who engages in this sort of petty, sexist, boys club bullshit.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:49 PM on June 29, 2013 [9 favorites]

Bunny Ultramod's comment prompted me to look up his Wikipedia page, where I read this.

"During the February 24, 1996 episode, Macdonald made a controversial joke about the sentencing of John Lotter, one of the two men who committed the notorious murder of Brandon Teena: "In Falls City, Nebraska, John Lotter has been sentenced to death for attempting to kill three people in what prosecutors called a plot to silence a cross-dressing female who had accused him of rape. Now this might strike some viewers as harsh, but I believe everyone involved in this story should die..""

posted by Lieber Frau at 9:10 PM on June 29, 2013

Ha: Google auto-complete for Norm MacDonald right now matches this thread, in order, for two outta three:

Norm MacDonald is a genius
Norm MacDonald is a jerk
Norm MacDonald is a drunk

Anyone got any Norm MacDonald drunk stories? Anyone?
posted by mochapickle at 9:31 PM on June 29, 2013

He looked drunk or high about every other time he was on a talk show.

And to enhance your views about Norm, both positive and negative, here is this appearance on Conan.
posted by tservo at 9:47 PM on June 29, 2013 [5 favorites]

tservo, wow, that one gets the triumvirate.

Next one: Norm MacDonald is asexual.
posted by mochapickle at 10:11 PM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

I love that he started a twitter book club, but I don't love that he regularly tweeted "wrong" at other members. Okay, be an arrogant dickhead about your interpretations, but at least back them up with evidence.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:36 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

And to enhance your views about Norm, both positive and negative

This is hilarious. If you don't think this is some of the best from-the-hip kind of wit there is, there's something wrong with you.
posted by hellslinger at 12:42 AM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Norm saying no good literature has come out in the last ten years makes Norm look like a) a dick, b) lazy, c) ignorant.

posted by xmutex at 12:51 AM on June 30, 2013

Yeah, this pretty much ruined the guy for me.
posted by Decani at 2:48 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was also annoyed with the way the man shot down the opinions of his book club members with a single word, "Wrong." As though all of literature is composed of absolutes and he alone holds the key to the objective truth. I'm not surprised he thinks he knows better than every scientist on earth, re: Decani's link. That is some staggering arrogance. Also not surprised that of all the books cited in this article, only one—not sure which because the author does not name it—is by a woman, Alice Munro. Because I guess if women can't be funny they probably can't write, either.
posted by Lieber Frau at 7:49 AM on June 30, 2013

Between his sexism, his God-bothering, his arrogance ("WRONG") and his indifference toward the culling of most of the book club, plus the fact that his Weekend Update was the height of his career, he's looking more like the Dennis Miller of his generation.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:20 AM on June 30, 2013

Yeah, this pretty much ruined the guy for me.

I'd be really surprised if this wasn't him trying to be funny. So you're willing to write-off a guy just because he said one silly thing like this, especially in passing with no explanation? And even if he actually doesn't believe DNA is real, you would not like a person?

Things like DNA are magnificent and awesome (in the most original and literal sense of the word), and sometimes I find myself wondering if these ideas are science fiction fed to me by an elaborate plan for worldwide deception. I think a healthy dose of humility and skepticism even about the things that one accepts as truth is healthy.

his arrogance ("WRONG")

Let's have everything sugar coated on TWITTER please, because no one would want to think that you're some kind of dry-witted comic who doesn't care about people's feelings...
posted by hellslinger at 9:44 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I never think of a f*cking ending

That would seem to be a pretty common problem for comedy writers. If you watch the old Monty Python TV programs the ending of most the skits is by far the weakest part. You can't stomp an animated foot down on every one.

A lot of stand-up acts try to loop around to the opening joke - sometimes it works, but most times it's just the stomp of an animated foot.
posted by three blind mice at 1:13 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

he's looking more like the Dennis Miller of his generation.

Watch his discussion with Russell Brand on the Youtube channel mentioned upthread, and I have strong doubts you will feel the same.

Norm strikes me as being somewhere between terribly broken and a bodhisattva, but one thing he is clearly not is insincere.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:12 PM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

Norm MacDonald almost won the celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, but Regis gave him enough doubts to settle for the $500,000. He is no intellectual slouch.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:27 PM on June 30, 2013

Judging from the article about his book club, MacDonald doesn't come across as very well-informed or thoughtful about literature. All the selections seemed like boilerplate high school English class assignments, and I didn't read any insightful comments from MacDonald.

I feel sorry for the journalist who wrote that article, it seems like it would be a real drag to get assignments like that.
posted by Unified Theory at 6:50 PM on June 30, 2013

I literally only know McDonald from The Norm Show, which was played at something like 12am on Channel 4, so it's weird to think that he's actually a relative household name in the US. For ages I'd say 'Have you seen The Norm Show?' and people would reply 'It's called CHEERS, idiot.'
posted by mippy at 7:55 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Last year he became the spokesman for a cut-rate auto insurance company. They do a lot of advertising. You can see him everywhere, now.
posted by Quonab at 8:22 AM on July 1, 2013

Not over here, you can't, though. I watch adverts for my day job and it must be a US only company as I'd have recognised him.
posted by mippy at 9:06 AM on July 1, 2013

I'd be really surprised if this wasn't him trying to be funny.
posted by hellslinger at 5:44 PM on June 30

I'm pretty good at detecting irony. I detected none. If he was trying to be funny, he failed. I'd also say that egregious science denialism isn't something I'm likely to find funny unless it's made a lot more obviously satirical than this.

So you're willing to write-off a guy just because he said one silly thing like this

It wasn't just one silly thing. It was an extended stream of silly things. And given that he's a Christian it seemed more likely to me that he wasn't kidding about it. And yes, I am willing to write him off insofar as respecting anything he might have to say about science goes. I have no patience with this sort of crap, and the world really doesn't need more of it.
posted by Decani at 9:36 AM on July 1, 2013

I don't think he was actually denying the existence of DNA. I interpreted it differently based on the comments he made prior to it (about believing in something vs. choosing to have faith in something, which compels you to accept something or not) and the comments after it (about trusting in scientists/scientific paradigms, which are subject to change). I think his point is more along the lines of does one believe in the existence in something because one has actually witnessed/experienced it (i.e., seeing strands of DNA through an electron microscope), or does one do so because one has accepted in an authority, i.e. the scientific establishment. And Norm being a layman who hasn't studied into the subject, he probably leans against the latter for whatever reason.

Independent of the man himself, I think it's an interesting angle to consider. A lot of trust/distrust in science has become accepting/distrusting intellectual authority, rather than the actual discoveries and process of science. Just as fundamentalists may reject science based on the scientists that work on it, many science-advocates choose it as a side. We live in world of conspiracy theorists and r/atheism cheerleaders for scientism. People are more focused on authorities and factions than actual intellectual inquiry.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:27 AM on July 1, 2013

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