Norm MacDonald: A Misunderstood Genius
He’s done Saturday Night Live. He’s roasted President Clinton. He’s taken a stab at being a movie star, having his own sitcoms, hosting a Daily Show style sports show, and releasing comedy sketch albums, but for whatever reason, Norm MacDonald has never really penetrated American society in a way that comedians like Dane Cook and Daniel Tosh have. Yet, I’d make a case that Norm, besides Louis CK, is the best comedian out there working today.
Norm is a mad scientist of comedy, a comedian’s comedian, a maniacal comedic genius who apathetically confuses the masses with his off-kilter brand of humor. A prime example of this was his brilliant, uncomfortable, and initially misunderstood G-rated roast of Bob Saget, the jokes of which he read from a notecard.
In this interview with the Toronto Sun a couple of years ago, he attempted to explain his sense of humor.

“I try not to be clever, I don’t like clever jokes at all, I never liked them, and jokes with sexual innuendo, I never liked them either,” Macdonald said. “I never understood that, because my mother would laugh at that, but then she wouldn’t laugh at the underlying thing that the sexual innuendo was saying. That seems dishonest. She’d watch Will & Grace, and be laughing, and I’d go, ‘You know, they actually were talking about getting fucked in the ass,’ but she wouldn’t laugh at that. But on Will & Grace they’d say, ‘I’d like to go up in that tunnel,’ and then she’d laugh. I never like to camouflage the real joke.”

And I think that is what I appreciate about his humor. It’s so straight-forward and deliberate that it is sometimes difficult to understand. We just are not used to it, especially when we live in a world where crap like Scary Movie 8, with its constant sight gags, quickly irrelevant pop culture references, and poor hey-look-at-me-I’m-supposed-to-be-this-celebrity impressions, can make $86 million worldwide.
So, here’s to Norm MacDonald and his making this world a much more enjoyable place to live. For your reading pleasure, be sure to check out his Twitter, where he will bizarrely live-tweet televised golf or say things such as:
My best friend was brutally murdered last week. Its only now that I can look back and laugh
Do you know more people are killed in this country every year in car accidents than by shark attacks
they say that being electocuted to death constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. i agree its cruel but it seems exceedingly usual
Who is this old man sitting next to me making love to his tonic and gin. Its unseemly.
If you think you need some Norm in your life, here you go:
Norm MacDonald: Me Doing Stand Up (streamed in full on Netflix)
90 minute interview
On Conan (where he tells a legendary moth joke)
On Letterman
On Craig Ferguson
Classic Norm Stand Up

Norm MacDonald: A Misunderstood Genius

He’s done Saturday Night Live. He’s roasted President Clinton. He’s taken a stab at being a movie star, having his own sitcoms, hosting a Daily Show style sports show, and releasing comedy sketch albums, but for whatever reason, Norm MacDonald has never really penetrated American society in a way that comedians like Dane Cook and Daniel Tosh have. Yet, I’d make a case that Norm, besides Louis CK, is the best comedian out there working today.

Norm is a mad scientist of comedy, a comedian’s comedian, a maniacal comedic genius who apathetically confuses the masses with his off-kilter brand of humor. A prime example of this was his brilliant, uncomfortable, and initially misunderstood G-rated roast of Bob Saget, the jokes of which he read from a notecard.

In this interview with the Toronto Sun a couple of years ago, he attempted to explain his sense of humor.

“I try not to be clever, I don’t like clever jokes at all, I never liked them, and jokes with sexual innuendo, I never liked them either,” Macdonald said. “I never understood that, because my mother would laugh at that, but then she wouldn’t laugh at the underlying thing that the sexual innuendo was saying. That seems dishonest. She’d watch Will & Grace, and be laughing, and I’d go, ‘You know, they actually were talking about getting fucked in the ass,’ but she wouldn’t laugh at that. But on Will & Grace they’d say, ‘I’d like to go up in that tunnel,’ and then she’d laugh. I never like to camouflage the real joke.”

And I think that is what I appreciate about his humor. It’s so straight-forward and deliberate that it is sometimes difficult to understand. We just are not used to it, especially when we live in a world where crap like Scary Movie 8, with its constant sight gags, quickly irrelevant pop culture references, and poor hey-look-at-me-I’m-supposed-to-be-this-celebrity impressions, can make $86 million worldwide.

So, here’s to Norm MacDonald and his making this world a much more enjoyable place to live. For your reading pleasure, be sure to check out his Twitter, where he will bizarrely live-tweet televised golf or say things such as:

  • My best friend was brutally murdered last week. Its only now that I can look back and laugh
  • Do you know more people are killed in this country every year in car accidents than by shark attacks
  • they say that being electocuted to death constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. i agree its cruel but it seems exceedingly usual
  • Who is this old man sitting next to me making love to his tonic and gin. Its unseemly.

If you think you need some Norm in your life, here you go:

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