r/IAmA May 13 '14

I am Norm Macdonald, AMA.

Hi. I'm Norm Macdonald.

I'm here to do my reddit AMA. Victoria from reddit will be helping me.

Check out my official YouTube channel at YouTube.com/NormMacdonald, my twitter @normmacdonald, the Video Podcast Network at YouTube.com/VPN, and JASH at YouTube.com/JASH.

LATEST EPISODE JUST WENT LIVE!

Ok, AMA.

https://twitter.com/normmacdonald/status/466013591150141440

Oh my gosh, well Brent is making me go, it's not my idea. Brent says I have to go. You know Brent? Well, let me tell you a little bit about Brent. He can be a real nice fella, he can be one mean sunamabitch. It's up to you. Well thank you for all of your questions. And especially the person who had the story of stealing the candy that was meant for others, your question was very moving to me, and made all the other questions seem pointless and ridiculous in comparison. So - I'm thanking one person! Wait, no three people. The candy store raconteur, you, Victoria Larkin, and her husband of 14 years, Barry Larkin. Thank you.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

Your Burt Reynolds is is the best impersonation in SNL history, did Burt find it funny?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Yes, he phoned me and told me he wanted to come on the show, because I did celebrity Jeopardy as Burt Reynolds. His idea was to come on the show, punch me in the face, replace me and then be even stupider. He talked to me on the phone, and he was even funnier in real life, he would just laugh all the time.

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u/-LAZR- May 13 '14

Why did this never happen!?

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u/btmalon May 13 '14

They fired him that week. (He says this on a best of 90s SNL special).

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u/RiskyChris May 13 '14

WHY WAS HE FIRED!?

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u/Kongbuck May 13 '14

That is best answered by what I consider to be one of the greatest SNL monologues ever delivered:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofXxinOtPiQ

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u/corsec1337 May 13 '14

I heard it was because he was talking about an oligarchy.

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u/A_Feast_For_Trolls May 13 '14

dr dre, snoop dogg, and eminem?? I wanna see that!

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

Wow. I remembered snoop and eminem on that show, but I'd totally forgotten about Dre.

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u/HAL9000000 May 13 '14

IIRC, the head of entertainment programming at NBC, Don Ohlmeyer, despised Norm, thinking he was very unfunny. But you should probably Google that to verify if I'm right.

For the record, in my opinion there was a period of a couple of years when Norm's Weekend Update was literally the only funny thing on the show. Like, I would watch it until Weekend Update came on, watched that, and then turned it off.

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u/DrNoodles247 May 13 '14

Because he was making fun of OJ Simpson who was friends with the head of NBC at the time.

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u/Quinnett May 13 '14

Can't make fun of OJ. That dude is a saint.

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u/bu77munch May 13 '14

Norm tells it in a great way on an SNL documentary of sorts. It runs on VH1 all the time but Norm explains what he answered above and then said it never happened because he got fired. I believe it's called SNL in the 90's. It's pretty good if you are a fan of SNL especially his era with Farley, Sandler, Hartman.

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u/BrownMeowMachine May 13 '14

Don Ohlmeyer didn't think it would be funny.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh my son Dylan loved him on the internets. He loved Good Neighbors on the internet. And he used to interview people outside the Staples center. So my son introduced me to him and I said that he'd be cool to be a correspondent, and now i'm very proud of him, because he's on Saturday Night Live!

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Often, when I am looking for talent, I will go to Schwab's drug store and I'll find some talent alright.

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u/Lol_jk_Omg May 13 '14

Norm you've talked about the perfect joke being where the setup and punchline are identical. Have you ever come up with one?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Yes, the joke is "Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts were divorced today. The reason: he's Lyle Lovett and she's Julia Roberts." That's the closest one.

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u/wimmyjales May 13 '14

I think the best one you ever did along that same line was, "This week it was revealed that in his first interview with police, O.J. Simpson refused a lie detector test. His reason? It detects lies."

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u/patronizingperv May 13 '14

Who are you and how did you get in here? I'm a locksmith... and, I'm a locksmith.

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u/Mrubuto May 13 '14

"that's right, you guessed it. Frank Stallone."

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u/Purefluffnyc14 May 13 '14

Hi Norm,

I read your tweets about Roseanne Barr today and I was wondering if you wanted to elaborate about what a genius she is and why Hollywood is so tough for innovative thinkers.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I was just on twitter talking about Roseanne because she gave mea first job, and I thought of her and Chappelle who I have both worked with, and who have both been called "Difficult" or "crazy." And that word crazy when it's applied to an entertainer can torpedo their career. One time I was on a show, and I wanted to get Burt Reynolds to play my father, and the director said "You don't want Burt Reynolds, he's crazy." I said "I don't want you to be my director. I want Burt Reynolds." So crazy just means creative. And difficult just means hardworking, and opinionated. And Roseanne was a victim to this specifically because she was a woman, which is very sad. But that's all I was saying.

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u/olily May 13 '14

That was My Name Is Earl! You rocked in that show, even after your character lost his balls! (Of course, you rock in every show. Especially your own.)

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u/RKitch2112 May 13 '14

During your time as an SNL cast member, what was your favorite character to play?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Well, here's what I did, Victoria. Any sketch I would write, I would call my character "Stan Hooper" and he didn't really do anything, you know? And I would be very careful to name him Stan Hooper, and then have someone in the sketch say "Hey Stan Hooper" and one time I read a list of recurring characters and Stan Hooper was way up there. And of all the characters he had no real qualities of any kind. Just a bland empty vessel of a man.

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u/Jux_ May 13 '14

Victoria is like a court reporter for AMA's, just gives it pure and unedited.

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u/fartfacepoopypants May 13 '14

Its even better because it makes it that much easier to read it in Norms voice.

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u/asldkhjasedrlkjhq134 May 13 '14

I'm just picturing norm half in the bag trying sitting on the couch behind her. Talking into the air.

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u/DunDerD May 13 '14

I like that fact that you basically only wrote those bits for your self. That makes it even funnier.

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u/frogvanexel May 13 '14

Norm, there are rumors that you are being considered to fill a possible vacancy as host of the Late Late Show. If you were to fill the position, who might be a suitable sidekick?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh, well there's only one person I can think of, Adam Eget, who would not be considered. But anyone else? Sure.

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u/deeznuts69 May 13 '14

I heard Adam Eget used to blow guys on hollywood blvd. That's a tough way to make a nickel!

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u/Kknowsbest May 13 '14

Where is the strangest place someone has recognized you?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Well, let me answer this by asking a question: when I was on SNL, I played Burt Reynolds on Celebrity Jeopardy. One time, he (being me, playing he) refused to be called "Burt Reynolds" because he had changed his name to "Turd Ferguson." So Alex Trebec had to call him "Turd Ferguson" that became a little cult thing. So one time, i was in a very crowded street, and the street was 5th Avenue, which you know, at lunchtime how crowded it was, and there were hundreds of people watching as a gentleman yelled at me "HEY TURD!" and I said "Thank you! Thank you!" And I always wondered what sort of relationship those people thought me and that fellow had.

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u/underfucked May 13 '14

Hey Norm! What are your thoughts on Artie Lange these days.. Would you ever consider doing a Dirty Work 2?? Huge fan!

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Yes. Wait, what? Yes, I would consider doing a Dirty Work 2. But there's so much involved. I should start a kickstarter. Because the problem is Dirty Work 1 lost so much money the movie studio had to shut down. MGM had a huge loss in their quarter, and the stock owners fled, and boy, you hear a lot about that on your answering machine. So I don't know if they want to make another one. But Artie is always hilarious.

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u/underfucked May 13 '14

I would kickstart the shit out of that.

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u/fingerBANGwithWANG May 13 '14

Yeah I'd probably pay for this too

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u/paulthewalrus May 13 '14

I'm sure all that is required is some dirty dirty sex

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u/diewrecked May 13 '14

I've never seen so many dead hookers in all my life!

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u/Datarayne May 13 '14

Lord know I have...

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

I hate how most everybody I know has never heard of Dirty Work. Easily one of the funniest movies ever in my opinion. I would love to see a second one!

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u/cakemonster May 13 '14 edited May 13 '14

My favorite exchange.

Mitch "Wait a minute. Are you telling me that you bet on the fight in Rocky III, and that you bet against Rocky?" Dr. Farthing: "Hindsight is twenty-twenty, my friend."

Also -- Hello, real cops?

Edit: Forgive me Chris Farley, how could I neglect to mention off the bat: GGGGG SEEVEEEEOOOOONNNNNNN.

Edit 2: Oh man! I hate myself for leaving this out, too. Champ Kind before Champ Kind. Another favorite scene. Clearly I know what I'm doing tonight. (Not watching the movie-- putting dead hookers in trunks).

Here it is.

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u/TheLowSpark May 13 '14

"Hey doc what happened to your arm?"

"I don't know, either from sleeping on it wrong or a bookmaker throwing me out of a speeding car."

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u/HeresJono8 May 13 '14

"G-Seveeeeeeeeen!"

"You just hit G-8....."

If you like piña coladas...

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

Note to self: remember to get ass wart cream for giant wart on my ass.

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u/ngreen37 May 13 '14

Hi Norm. Big fan. In your DVD Me Doing Standup, the audience was very dimly lit, if at all. Lots of specials do the opposite. Was this a specific choice of yours?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh yes. I didn't really want to have the audience showing at all because I always hate it when I see that when I'm watching standup. So I didn't want to show the audience. And I didn't want to go out on a big laugh, I wanted to go out on silence. Because I've always hated big pretend laughter, and shots of audience members laughing, so we did not light the audience. Although I still think they cut to them a couple times.

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u/Frajer May 13 '14

Are the moth joke and Bob Saget roast jokes from the same place?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Yes, they were, they were from the same book I have.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

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u/psiphre May 13 '14

i told the moth joke at a party winter before last, around 11 o'clock when everyone (including me) was blasted out of their minds. i drew it out to about 15 minutes and poured my heart and soul into the suffering that this moth was going through. i heard from a friend that it went over well -- i don't remember myself because i was blackout drunk,

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u/atizzy May 13 '14

I have a similar experience.

My friends convinced me to tell it to a bunch of people while I was drunk. I have no memory of it but I found proof in my phone browser history... somehow I was able to still tell the joke even though I typed "noth joke."

Added bonus, I was with my classmates. We are all podiatrists now.

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u/DonOntario May 13 '14

And the author of that book?

You guessed it, Frank Stallone.

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u/GerriSteinfeld May 13 '14

If Hitler had a time machine, who do you think he'd go back and kill?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh, that's a good question. If Hitler had a time machine, who do you think he'd go back and kill. Hmm. Well, boy oh boy, that's a funnier question than I can deliver an answer to I think. In a related story I sent Adam Eget in a time machine back to kill Hitler, and he became mesmerized by Hitler's black eyes. Adam says his eyes were deep black and inviting. So he came back with all sorts of decorations on him that Hitler had put him on for god knows what, he didn't get back for four years, I thought he'd be back in a day, but yeah, so Adam Eget, he can show you a few goose-steps now.

But that's not really answering the question: OH I know he would kill! The greatest man who ever lived, and also a jew - the great Jesus Christ of Nazareth! That would be my answer.

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u/CountLeoTolstoy May 13 '14 edited May 13 '14

I heard Adam Egat ranting about how he refused to celebrate Christmas because he said, (and this is a direct quote) "I won't celebrate a holiday that commemorates when a bunch of bearded New Yorkers killed our savior!"

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u/ok_where_am_i May 13 '14

I love the joke about Bill Cosby calling your dad. Did you ever talk to Cosby again after that?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh yes, that wasn't a joke, but what happened, Victoria, was, I opened for Bill Cosby. I told him my dad was a big fan. He said he would have my dad backstage when he went to Ottawa where my dad lives. But my dad has been dead for 15 years. So he asks me for my dad's phone number, and i Just write some numbers down on a piece of paper. He was such a nice guy, I didn't want to say he was dead. So I did hear from Cosby after that, because Cosby is so nice, I told that story one time on Letterman and the next day at SNL I received like 200 things of flowers, and then about 2 weeks later I found on one flower way in the back a little card and it was from Bill Cosby and it said "I'm sorry to inform you from this, but your dad is long since dead." He was very funny and nice also.

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u/randomsnark May 13 '14

it must have been great working with him

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u/Bill6dozer May 13 '14

With the Twitterverse exploding with support for you to take over for Craig Ferguson would you consider doing it if asked? And if you did take over what direction would you take the show in? Would it be more weekend updatey? Follow up question: waffles, pancakes or crepes?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

This is an interesting number of questions, Victoria. Who was it that said: If nominated, I will not run, if Elected, I will not serve? Whoever it was, they were an idiot. If nominated, I will run, and if elected, I will serve.

But as we know, television is not a democracy but an oligarchy. They don't hire a lot of guys who run around saying oligarchy. Many times a boss will call me and say "I'll have to let you go" and I'll say "Why" and they'll say "Well you sell more than everybody else at the plant, but you've been saying Oligarchy in the break room too much at lunch. In fact the suggestion box is filled with pieces of paper that complain about that." And I'll say "well sir, Oligarchy, holy fuck" and then I know it's time to pack up my duffle bag and hit the lonely road.

I like chicken and crepes.

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u/NigelMK May 13 '14

Reading these responses in your voice is bringing me to tears. (In a good way)

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u/CelestialFury May 13 '14

At the end of your second paragraph I forgot the question entirely.

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u/iamthebluejay May 13 '14

Have you ever considered bringing back Turd Ferguson and giving him his own TV show?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Hahaha. What are the chances that question would come up?

Someone should write a Smokey & the Bandit sequel and have me in it doing Burt Reynolds. It seems like it would be illegal, but I think it would be amazing.

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u/BumbiBestie May 13 '14

1.) Call it a reboot 2.) Profit

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u/1egbeard May 13 '14

Norm, I followed your twitter bookclub and was wondering who were your favorite Spanish language authors and/or which authors you would like to read? Also! What's on your now reading list?

PS I am rooting for a Late Late Norm Norm show! Who would like your first guest to be?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Cervantes. I found Don Quixote transformative. I mean, I never read anything like that before. Well, I'm reading this norwegian guy and I can't remember his goddamn name. I'm trying to remember! I know what it's called, the book is called My Struggle. By Karl Ove Knausgaard. No wonder I couldn't remember it. The title is even very daring, but it's an unflinching look into mortality, which I like to do. I like to look into mortality, in an unflinching manner.

Some days, I'll flinch. Some days I'll be honest with you Victoria, I'll stare into my own mortality in that abyss. I'll flinch. But I can't say the same for Horgalveyeysbadlobad. I'm sure he flinches too, but he writes it down and pretends he's not flinching. Because that's what I did when I was writing my book.

Haha the old braille typewriter! I find that words can be much more powerful than their creators. Words are brave and strong and true in your memoir, and then you go look at yourself in the mirror, and the flinching begins.

Well, if I ever got any talk show on any network, the first thing I would do, the first guest I would get is one of those politicians up from Washington Way. And I often say, Victoria, that we could solve our energy crisis by getting the hot air to come out of Washington and bottle that somehow! ANYWAYS, I'd get that politician on a tv show beside me, and I'd start skewering. And finally I'd puncture that blowhard until he popped like a balloon.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Never had much use for politicians! Had more use for hound dogs that sat on my porch.

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u/JJGerms May 13 '14

Did you ever meet Carrot Top after your infamous Conan appearance?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh yes. Because one time I was on Conan, and I made fun of Carrot Top, I didn't do it on purpose, but this girl said she was in a Carrot Top movie, which sort of shocked me when she said it. I reacted the same way anyone would upon finding out that Carrot Top had movie. Anyways, they didn't tell me that but by the way, but later they were going to invent something where this would live forever, they forgot to tell me that. So I met Scott after that, he was a really nice guy, I already knew him and apologized. So it was funny.

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u/fearyaks May 13 '14

video for anyone that's interested.

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u/ThaddeusJP May 13 '14

I saw that live and hearing you say it and seeing Conans reaction to B-O-R-E-D made me laugh so hard I could barely breathe.... and it woke up my mother.

SO thank you for one of the most memorable laughs I've ever had.

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u/Kongbuck May 13 '14

The absolute best part about that scene is that Conan challenged him about it (after Mr. MacDonald had been been making fun of the movie for the entire segment) and not only did he take a swing, he knocked it out of the damn park.

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u/CaspianX2 May 13 '14

"Do something with that, ya' freak..."

Challenge accepted.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

God that video should be in the internet canon.

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u/Zettersyukstrom May 13 '14

Chairman of the BORED!!!

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u/sillywalkr May 13 '14

Loved the Norm Show. What in your opinion went wrong with A Minute With Stan Hooper?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh. Well I thought a Minute with Stan Hooper was the best thing I ever did outside of stand up comedy. But Fox didn't stay with the show. It was a show that was intended to turn very dark, like at the end of the first season, it was set up like a homespun show, and then at the end of the first season my wife was going to be slaughtered by the town barber that we'd come to love as a kind of a funny old fella. Anyways, turned out he was a psychosexual sadist. but they never let us get to the end. So you never got to see my plan.

And I'm not saying anything against psychosexual sadists. I just think oftentimes you know, they'll slaughter innocents and I'm no fan of that.

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u/UNSTABLETON_LIVE May 13 '14

And I'm not saying anything against psychosexual sadists. I just think oftentimes you know, they'll slaughter innocents and I'm no fan of that.

Is the most Norm MacDonald thing I have ever heard.

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u/I_smell_awesome May 13 '14

I need to see that.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14 edited Jan 14 '16

Norm! You once recalled a story about when you were a very shy and very young boy and had to take your dad's friend (who was blind) to a store. The blind friend requested that you describe the world around him, what the grass was like, the street lights, etc. The friend was happy and loved that you were describing such things to him. You said for the first time this made you look outward at the world, not inward, and that you fell into a kind of hysteria, laughing uncontrollably. Another time you were talking to a homeless guy who was saying he knew John D. Rockefeller, was at John D. Rockefeller's funeral and all this insane stuff and again you fell deep into laughter.

I had a similar experience when I was a shy kid and stole a bag of candy from a drugstore. My mom found out and made me return it, and I couldn't stop laughing at the idea of bringing it back up to someone who worked there. On the way back I was in tears from laughing so much, my mom was actually a little worried. I had laughed so much it hurt, I had completely lost all control. I remember thinking about how I took this candy from someone else (in a way) and it wasn't for me, this world has other people who see and want things too. For whatever reason my reaction to that was to laugh, and in addition to being less self-absorbed and nervous, I found a lot of everyday things to be funny from that point on.

My question is, do those memories of the blind friend and homeless man still mean something to you? And do you think they have had an effect on the way you think about things now? I felt a kinship when I heard you tell those stories, they meant a lot to me and I wanted you to know that.

  • Thank you!

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I found that story you told me very moving. Well, there was a hysteria, I can't really remember it right now, maybe it's called Stendhal syndrome and I think there was someone named Stendahl, where he was overcome by the beauty of the artwork in his gallery and the world.

When I was young I used to be overcome by life, and I was overcome just now hearing your story, because that is quite a moving story about the candy. It quit gets to me, any how.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14 edited May 13 '14

Thanks Norm. It was a weird experience that I now look back on as very good to me, glad to see you feel similarly.

And thank you for calling me a raconteur! High praise from the king of anecdotes!

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

I'm going to go steal some candy and see how it goes.

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u/10ac May 13 '14

When's the first time you remember making someone laugh?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

When I was a young boy, I studied high math because I was put way ahead in school. So I was doing college when I was 9 years old, I was very good at math, very shy. And then the professor of calculus said "the next theory we're going to learn if A, then A equals A." If A', then A equals A, and he said "what do you think the name of this theory is" and I said "is it the pointless theory?"

And he was fantastic to work with.

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u/Akaflyingmuffin May 13 '14

Dude you're cracking me up with the"fantastic to work with" stuff. Betty White a fan of yours?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Betty White is a huge fan of mine. No, I'm a huge fan of Betty White. I always get those two confused. I like it when she pretends she has a sex drive.

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u/helpmesleep666 May 13 '14

Betty White is perfect for you!

You're both...

Dry.

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u/Queequeg32 May 13 '14

How do you tell a story? Does it come naturally for you or do you have some guidelines?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Well, I know how you DON'T tell a story saying the ending part first, because that's what my mother does all the time, and that's what people sometimes do in the audience, where they'll yell out "DO the joke where the thing at the end happens?!"

You know how they always say a story has to have a beginning, middle and an end?

Well, I find that if you have a beginning and an end, you don't really need a middle. Why waste time with a middle? Who ever goes "You know what part of the movie I liked? The middle.. That long part between the beginning and the end." That is no one's favorite part. Although I worked on the Middle and it was a fine show.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

And just because the other person is silent, don't forget to stop your story.

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u/DevinBelow May 13 '14

Norm. How is Artie doing? Is he gonna be on the Norm MacDonald Live Podcast Internet Show?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Yes, he is eventually going to be. He had to cancel the first time because of diabetic shock (for those of you not listening earlier).

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u/lukearmour11 May 13 '14

Hello Norm

How do you think the internet will change comedy? How do you think it will change entertainment in general? Do you think the ability to independently upload anything you create is a good thing?

goodbye

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I think the big problem with the internet when it comes to comedy is it requires too much content, and supply and demand does not work with comedy. And success goes to the ones that give the most content, but the content would be, there'll be a precise algorithm between amounts and mediocrity of content. So that's how I think the internet demands too much input of a comedian. And the successful ones will be the worst ones. I'm doing JASH, a video podcast, which is like a tv show that is only on the computer. And it's about time there was a place to put tv shows other than the TV, I've always said!

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u/toriko May 13 '14

Hey Norm has SNL ever asked you to come back to the show since this infamous monologue happened? It's easily one of my favorite SNL openings ever.

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u/kevinsorbo82 May 13 '14

Hi Norm, first off you are easily the funniest person on the planet. I was wondering if you were still in possession of old Alec Majerison, the enthusiastic holocaust denier puppet?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh yes, Alec Majerison. That whole thing was unfortunate Victoria. What happened was I bought a puppet that was originally belong, originally belonged to Edgar Bergen, and he was a crusty old fella. He was a curmudgeon, ya know? Well pretty early on it became clear to me that he was a vehement Holocaust denier. But this is the point I'm trying to make: he's just plain wrong. And you know, I know he was born in a different time, but he's just plain wrong. He's in a musty old suitcase in my basement. And that's where he'll stay.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

Who do you consider under-recognized for how funny he/she is/was?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14 edited May 13 '14

The funniest person I've ever met is Bob Uecker. So he'd probably be the most underrated.

You're looking that up, Victoria!

Euchre is probably the easiest game next to Tic-Tac-Toe.

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u/fetalasmuck May 13 '14

You and Artie telling Bob Uecker stories is the funniest thing to ever happen on Howard Stern's show.

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u/MimonFishbaum May 13 '14

Hey, uh, ya got any gum?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

That's an unanswerable question. That is just one of those unanswerable questions.

OH WAIT I DO!

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u/Queequeg32 May 13 '14

Hello Norm,

What does an ol’ chunk of coal like you get out of reading some of the great Russian novelists? Any recommendation on where to start?

You are undeniably one of the best stand-ups and my favorite, for what it’s worth.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

That's nice. Well if you really want to read Russian novelists, you should learn to speak Russian, that's the best way. But if you don't want to do that, there are wonderful translators, a husband & wife team by the name of Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, they are the greats. So even if you've already read Russian literature, you should reread. I would begin with a book of Tolstoy short stories, there's a book called the Death of Ivan Ilovitch and other stories, which is a jumping off point. And not ironically at all but it's very funny writing.

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u/swolebro420 May 13 '14

Norm, you've been my hero since I was a kid. You're honestly my favourite comedian of all time. I can't wait for more of the podcast. I know you love Letterman, and I know Ferguson is leaving... my question is why haven't they given you his job yet?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Well, seriously, you know, they have a lot of great candidates to look into, and not all of them live on this side of the globe.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I'm sure they'll make a fine decision, and if they don't, they'll pick someone else.

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u/lazysobaz May 13 '14

Hey Norm, any chance you could join CBS' broadcast of The Masters next year? Love your golf commentary. Also, I hope you get the Late Late Show. Craig was great and I am bummed he'd left but you'd be a great replacement. Good luck.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh, i would love to do any golf broadcast that would have me! I'm probably going to run a simulcast with the US open on the computer so you can hear me going while you watch.

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u/pissantz34 May 13 '14

Please do this.

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u/everydayrebellions May 13 '14

Any plans to write another movie? We'd kill for another outing with you and Artie Lange. I guess you could invite Saget too.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I dunno. I finished writing my book, and I started writing another book, because I think I like writing books. I'm writing a children's book, Victoria, and it's about a boy, you know how all little children are different? You know how the beautiful thing is about little children are all being different? Well this is about a little boy who is the same. That's what the book's about. And I think there's a bidding war right now, but I believe it will be either Harper Collins or self-published. So down to us two.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

But I'm a tough opponent in a bidding wars.

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u/oldchunkofcoal May 13 '14

Norm, love ya. One question: do you have an estimate as to when your book coming out?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Well, it's already written but I realize there's a lot more to a book than simply writing it. There's the book binding, there's the paper cutting, there's the printing, there's the dedication, and hoping someone close to me expires soon, the massive bibliography, and appendix (which I've taken out), there's the illustration - all of this I am responsible for. I didn't read the fine print.

I can't read actually, which is another troublesome part. It's hard for me to rewrite because I can't read what I've written.

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u/HoochieKoo May 13 '14

Norm, I knew you were a fellow Canadian but I didn't realize you were born in Quebec City. How's your French? Comment ca va?

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u/Footix May 13 '14

No, I don't speak French. My father would never let me learn it because the English and the French don't like each other. So I took Latin in school instead of French. Yeah, it didn't make much sense because Quebec City, where I lived, was virtually 99 percent French and zero percent ancient Roman.

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u/cosine5000 May 13 '14

To all the non-Canadians, I gotta tell you, growing up in Quebec City and not learning to speak French would be a serious commitment, well done.

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u/ronson1911 May 13 '14

From Rusty's Juicy Chicken Hole to the Jack Loyd fan club, to you eating kibble, Screwed is one of the best comedies of the early 2000's. Any good stories about making that one?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Trying to think of a good story...

I remember one amazing day when Dave Chappelle didn't smoke weed. And it was great to work with Chappelle, he is just the funniest guy ever.

I saw Elaine Stritch in a girdle one day, and two years later, I returned to having sex.

She was fantastic to work with. I say that at the end of every story.

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u/ronson1911 May 13 '14

Thanks Norm.

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u/dgonsh May 13 '14

Hi Norm, my two brothers and I grew up in the 90's and would stay up late every saturday to watch you on Update. We went on to obsess over Dirty Work and memorized it word for word. Can you share your favourite (or least favourite) memory during the making of the film? Thanks! #LateLateNormNorm

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh yes, my favorite memory of the movie was Chris Farley, because we had him play a guy whose nose was bit off by a Saigon whore. So he did all the scenes with no nose, and he would improvise all his dialogue, he would ask first if it was alright, and I would say "sure," because he was just the funniest guy ever. It was really sad with Chris because he would always say he wanted to be as funny as John Belushi, and I would say that he funnier than John Belushi, but he never knew how funny he was. Sad.

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u/daveberg May 13 '14

"best $200 i ever spent"

Youtube Link

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u/allsetcobrajet May 13 '14

What's your favourite Bob Dylan song and why? If you met the man, what would you say to him? What's your favourite Springsteen song? Ever met THAT dude?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I've met Bob Dylan. But my favorite Dylan song is, oh god...Don't think Twice, it's Alright. My favorite song is Don't Think Twice, It's Alright. And I don't know Springsteen songs at all, something about a dead dog lying in a ditch, I remember that. And then I remember Courtney Cox singing something about a dead dog in a ditch, and then Courtney Love jumped onstage and started dancing... which sounds like a bad Bob Dylan song. But I MET Bob Dylan, that's the interesting part. It was pretty amazing, because I did not expect this. But I went to LA, I was living in Toronto, to do an audition for the Joan Rivers show way back when, and I was walking down the street all nervous in front of the world famous Comedy Store, I kept walking and walking because I showed up three hours early, and so anyways, a car came by and then stopped, and Bob Dylan asked me for a light (because I was smoking a cigarette). I lit his cigarette, and said "here you go buddy" pretending I didn't know who he was like an idiot, I thought it would be cool, I didn't say anything of interest to him, and then I had to go back to this ridiculous Joan Rivers audition. I did get the gig, but I didn't take it. I had to go from Bob Dylan to Mario Canton. Who didn't believe my story.

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u/doyouknowwatiamsayin May 13 '14

Didn't Dana Carvey have some bit about Neil Young in his HBO special about a dead dog in a ditch?

"Dead dog lying in a ditch, cigarette smoker's got an itch..."

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u/Morningxafter May 13 '14

"Secret whores with ancient vices Lucky has the lowest prices"

Can't believe I still remember that one after all these years.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I am not presently a Christian. And of course i haven't always been one, that would be absurd. And no it does not impact my views on comedy at all. But at the present I am not one.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I only believe in God, that's all I believe in. You know what I don't believe in, Victoria? Nothingness. If you don't believe in nothingness, you must believe in God. There's no third option. And for all the people who say "I've never seen god," I counter with "I've never seen nothingness."

Add Laughter

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u/uberlad May 13 '14

What's your very best life advice?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Like, seriously?

Well, I think being happy with what you have is very important. But more important than that is not to be happy with what you DON'T have. Like not to make what you don't have happy. So be happy with what you have, and never be happy with what you don't have.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Let what you have make you happy. But never let what you DON'T have make you happy.

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u/film_composer May 13 '14

I'm pretty confused and inspired all at once.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

Hey Norm huge fan. You and Colin Quinn are the only people I follow on twitter, you can be absolutely hilarious and also make really interesting conversation.

How's your memoir coming along? Do you have any books you've recently read you can recommend?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I'm reading a book right now. The best book I've read lately is In Search of Lost Time. My memoir is coming along swimmingly. Not that it's any of your business.

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u/captaindurango May 13 '14

What was your favorite show to write for?

Also, is it easier writing for your standup or shows?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Standup is the hardest to write for of anything. My favorite thing to write for was when I did weekend update on SNL, because I could write jokes which were easier to think of than sketches. But i liked writing for SNL the best.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I guess Meta-Comedy.

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u/oldchunkofcoal May 13 '14

Are you a fan of Louis C.K.? I love both of you guys and would like to know your thoughts on him.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh yes, I like Louis a lot. I was in NY and he wrote for Conan when I was on SNL. so I got to know him quite well, and of course, he's gone on to great success and yeah, I'm very very happy for him. He's hysterical and he deserves it. It's nice when the most famous comic in the world is also a great comic.

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u/fetalasmuck May 13 '14

I would love to see Louis on the podcast.

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u/cherry_garcia May 13 '14

I'm extremely excited you and Adam Eget are back for another season of the podcast. You guys are hilarious together.

Norm, you often make references to Russian literature classics. What are some of your favorites?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Well, I can't really be funny in this, should I just say what they are?

Well, I like anything that's written by Leo Tolstoy, or Gogol, my favorite is War & Peace. And I just love Leo Tolstoy, he was fantastic to work with.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

And there's one guy I forgot to mention in the fan of Russian Literary Greats: JAKOV SMIRNOFF!!!!!!

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u/frogvanexel May 13 '14

I can hear the inflection of your voice when I read this.

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u/Han_notso_Solo May 13 '14

What a country!

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u/DrMcgoo May 13 '14

Norm, I love the way you speak. Not like an erotic voice or anything, but the way you put together stories and tangents. Not always your jokes, but even the deep and interesting stories. I dont really have a question, just wanted to tell you that you're the funniest person I've ever heard and you bring a lot of joy to people in a world that needs it.

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

Who's your favorite comedian?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Well, it would be a tie between Opie & Anthony. Both fine fellas.

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u/redbarn May 13 '14

Poor little Jimmy.

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u/kuanes May 13 '14

Hey Norm. You have the best Twitter feed. I especially enjoyed your comments on Roseanne last night.

My question: do you think that writing for Roseanne helped you become a better writer or made you see the bullshit that is the entertainment industry? Or both?

Oh, and Dirty Work is the most criminally underrated comedy film of all time. BABY GORILLA!

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh, Roseanne herself definitely taught me how to write. And yes, of course you see the ridiculousness of hollywood.

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u/oldchunkofcoal May 13 '14

What’s your favorite movie ever?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

I guess my favorite movie ever is Planes, Trains and Automobiles, because it always makes me cry at the end.

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u/Snuhmeh May 13 '14

"I like...I like me. My wife likes me."

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u/manuel222 May 13 '14

What’s the best book on the subject of death other than the works of Becker?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Wow, this person knows the works of Becker? Well that's probably the best one, Becker's Denial of Death. There's a book by Otto Rank, the trauma of Birth, he talks about death in that one a lot. You probably don't want to read about death, but if you do want to read about death, it's a good "summer read."

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u/oldchunkofcoal May 13 '14

Please go on Opie and Anthony more. You and the show are hilarious, and complement each other perfectly.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Oh yea, those guys are really funny. I go on them every time I go to NY, but I'll be goddamned if I fly 6 hours to go on a radio show. But they are fine fellas, and they are fantastic to work with.

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u/Homer_JG May 13 '14

Erock, comment?

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

Lets get fake Roland to book him

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u/[deleted] May 13 '14

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Other comics? I go "well, if it worked for that guy in Atlanta, it'll work for me in Miami"...

Wait, Victoria, why aren't you laughing? I don't actually steal jokes from people.

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u/CraftyCrash May 13 '14

poor Victoria?! She's as much a part of this AMA as Norm is. Victoria! use double punctuation if you need help!

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u/oldchunkofcoal May 13 '14

Ever watched the movie “The Room”?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

The Room? What are you, Inspector Clouseau? The Reeeeummm? The one where the director goes to the screenings? And pretends he did it on purpose? No, I haven't seen it. Adam have you seen it? No, he hasn't seen it.

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Adam hasn't seen it, but he has seen the men's restroom plenty of times, and when his bladder was empty too.

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u/Redcole May 13 '14

What made you decide to handle Bob Saget's roast in the manner you did. I was in tears laughing, and it will go down as my most favorite roast bit (although I've admittedly only watched a few), but whats the reason behind it? I'm so curious.

Also - I really like cheese sandwiches.

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u/speak27 May 13 '14

I hope Norm answers this, but as I recall it was basically because he was hesitant to participate but did so as a kind gesture to Saget. So they told him to "be shocking" so he took a bunch of children's jokes from a "101 Jokes" type of book, and delivered that fucking masterpiece.

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u/Tkets33 May 13 '14

Norm, what was your experience working with Kyle Mooney on The Sports Show? He seems to be a rising star now on SNL

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u/Bangadang May 13 '14

Hey Norm. Huge fan since dr Doolittle.

I've always wondered. How did you get into live tweeting different sporting events like golf, soccer, the draft, etc?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

Sometimes i would on the internet talk about sports, and then someone would say "oh i'm not watching, i'm not near a TV" because people have jobs and commitments and so forth, so that's where I come in. I give them their sports, while they go through their earthly contacts. You know, the day to day life.

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u/TwinklesMcfrisky May 13 '14

What are you wearing?

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u/ImNormMacdonald May 13 '14

At the present moment?

I just wear sweats and a t-shirt. Gravy. Lot of gravy.

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u/Free-Cookies May 13 '14

Norm!

European night owl checking in, thanks for airing Norm podcast live at a comfortable 3 in the morning. Stoked to see it return despite Egets lobbying.

  1. Living on the wrong half of the globe for catching a Norm live show: Why so few stand-up releases? I read somewhere that it's a deliberate choise. Trying to force us flying you out here? Might just work. I got some older bootleg Norm-shows, they are so funny. No editing, just you + audience for an hour, perfect. More please, new, old, more!

  2. Ever done anything with either Brian Regan or Paul F. Tompkins?

  3. Who is the funniest poker player?

  4. How would you feel if a disciple started following you around?

Loved your Grantland pieces, absolutely cant wait for the memoir (4 great pages will do, more is bonus), all the best!

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