Norm Macdonald (1959-2021)

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Blutarsky
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:09 pm

Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#26 Post by Blutarsky » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:50 pm

With the deaths of both Sean Lock and Norm in under a month, it is hard for someone who is a massive fan of deadpan, dry humour to fathom such an event. I was talking to a friend a few days ago about the moth joke and how watching his Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien appearances in college motivated all of us. Such a sad day.

GoodOldNeon
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:58 am

Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#27 Post by GoodOldNeon » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:07 am

Quite simply the funniest person to ever live. He will be remembered for his standup, SNL, and his talk show appearances, but most of my favourite moments came from his unbelievably funny YouTube talkshow Norm Macdonald Live (which has unfortunately been removed from YouTube, but which can be found on some torrent sites), as well as from his many radio appearances, especially with Dennis Miller.

On Dog the Bounty Hunter

Drake Sather Story

Dennis Miller Appearance with Jason Sudeikis

Three Hours of Norm on Dennis MIller

I highly recommend the YouTube channel Happy the Dog, which is a veritable treasure trove of rare Norm videos.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#28 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:41 am

Watching his talk show appearances, it's amazing how hilariously "awful" he was. If you break it down, it really takes something special in both the delivery and the actual content. The moth story is a perfect example of that - obviously most of it must be off-the-cuff, but if you put it down on paper, I doubt it would be nearly as funny, and it would be difficult to pull off as a script. He rambles and stumbles through in such a half-assed way, it gets more and more hysterical.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#29 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:46 am

His Netflix talk show was very hit or miss in that way- I remember finding the David Spade ep laughless and then once acclimating to its totally broad, and at times painfully unstructured and directionless wavelength, absolutely died laughing during the Drew Barrymore interview. However the wonderful punchline about eating monkey brains is so inane that it’s only funny at all after a long string of dead air and awkwardness

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#30 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:52 am

That sounds like a typical MacDonald punchline. I've heard two different philosophies behind his work - one that's been repeated now is how comedy shouldn't pander, the joke should be unexpected. But when he was on Weekend Update, Dennis Miller (who I just found out actually gave him his first break, writing for his first show!) supposedly told him he needed to make more left turns with his jokes, but apparently MacDonald disagreed, saying something like the approach he and Downey grew comfortable with was to lean in really hard on the obvious. (see the Michael Jackson and O.J. jokes)

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#31 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:58 am

hearthesilence wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:52 am
That sounds like a typical MacDonald punchline.
Oh of course, I just found it amusing that it would take entire episodes for him to get there as opposed to a long winded anti-joke! That takes some shameless commitment, and it’s no wonder the show was canceled

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swo17
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#32 Post by swo17 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:07 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:20 pm
Image
That whole bit is hilarious

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Kracker
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#33 Post by Kracker » Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:51 pm

Lol I do remember the eating monkey brains discussion: “Well, they gave me a dumb one”

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#34 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:43 pm

Kracker wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:51 pm
Lol I do remember the eating monkey brains discussion: “Well, they gave me a dumb one”
If I recall correctly, Barrymore asked how they tasted and Norm said, "I don't know, mine were stupid"

beamish14
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#35 Post by beamish14 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:07 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:09 pm
Saturday Night Live never really made it to the UK, but surprisingly enough his series Norm turned up on Channel 4 on Friday nights in their US comedy slot around the same time as they were showing Friends, Will & Grace, Frasier, Spin City and so on.

NORM was a fabulous show, and the chemistry he had with Stephen Tobolowsky playing the straight man to his goofball was excellent.

I'd forgotten that Macdonald was a writer on ROSEANNE during the 1992-93 season that was arguably responsible for clinching its legendary status.

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domino harvey
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#36 Post by domino harvey » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:10 pm

beamish14 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:07 pm

NORM was a fabulous show, and the chemistry he had with Stephen Tobolowsky playing the straight man to his goofball was excellent.
Not sure if you’re confusing him with Max Wright or Ian Gomez, but Stephen Tobolowsky wasn’t on Norm

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hearthesilence
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#37 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:22 pm

beamish14 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:07 pm
I'd forgotten that Macdonald was a writer on ROSEANNE during the 1992-93 season that was arguably responsible for clinching its legendary status.
Had to look this up, Norm's credited on these episodes:

108 11 "Of Ice and Men" by Robert Borden and Norm Macdonald December 1, 1992
Fisher offers to coach D.J. in hockey. Jackie breaks up with Fisher, fearing he will leave her for a younger woman. When Roseanne convinces Jackie to get back together with him, they move in together.

115 18 "Lose a Job, Winnebago" by Norm Macdonald February 23, 1993
The Conners go on a road trip to California with the Tildens for a taping of The Jackie Thomas Show; Dan tells Roseanne he wants to have another child, though Roseanne is cool to the idea.
Note: This episode marks the final appearance of Wings Hauser as Ty Tilden.

Forgot about his Millionaire appearance, I remember watching Letterman afterwards and Regis Philben said he got tons of hate mail from viewers who thought he sabotaged Norm's appearance in order to keep him from winning. A re-run of that episode added pop-up footnotes, including one that said Philben was told to keep MacDonald in-check to prevent him from losing due to his gambling addiction. (He unintentionally hampered his chances partly because his on-air advice was based on no knowledge of the answers or how certain "lifeline" devices on the show would turn out.)

My favorite bit from SNL's 25th anniversary show was when Chevy Chase, Dennis Miller and Norm (easily the three best solo anchors to ever appear on Weekend Update up to that point) appeared together, except with Norm, they made it look like he wasn't invited. ("Hey, I was at home watching TV and noticed all this going on...you guys having a party or something?")

beamish14
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 3:07 pm

Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#38 Post by beamish14 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:30 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:10 pm
beamish14 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:07 pm

NORM was a fabulous show, and the chemistry he had with Stephen Tobolowsky playing the straight man to his goofball was excellent.
Not sure if you’re confusing him with Max Wright or Ian Gomez, but Stephen Tobolowsky wasn’t on Norm

You're totally correct. For some reason, I believe I confused him with Max Wright.

beamish14
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 3:07 pm

Re: Norm Macdonald (1959-2021)

#39 Post by beamish14 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:32 pm

One of the craziest and most amusing things I've heard about Macdonald is that (per his tweets) he was close friends with Quebecois novelist/screenwriter Rejean Ducharme, who was more press-averse than J.D. Salinger or Thomas Pynchon.

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colinr0380
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Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#40 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:56 pm

beamish14 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:07 pm
colinr0380 wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:09 pm
Saturday Night Live never really made it to the UK, but surprisingly enough his series Norm turned up on Channel 4 on Friday nights in their US comedy slot around the same time as they were showing Friends, Will & Grace, Frasier, Spin City and so on.
I'd forgotten that Macdonald was a writer on ROSEANNE during the 1992-93 season that was arguably responsible for clinching its legendary status.
That's really interesting! Watching a few of the episodes of Norm yesterday evening I had forgotten that Laurie Metcalf co-stars in Norm too, so maybe that is another way that certain aspects of Roseanne carried over into his show. I see from imdb that Tom Arnold turned up as a guest star in one episode as well!

(That was actually what kicked off the 'golden age' of US comedy showing on Channel 4 on Friday evenings in the early 90s: triple bills of Roseanne, Cheers, and Whose Line Is It Anyway? from 9 p.m. were essential primetime viewing, which kind of morphed into Friends, the 'middle, changeable' one (i.e. Spin City, Caroline In The City, Will & Grace. Norm was fit into this area) and Frasier in the late 90s and early 2000s. Though I was only hugely passionate about Frasier from that later schedule!)

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Norm Macdonald (1959-2021)

#41 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:33 pm

beamish14 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:32 pm
One of the craziest and most amusing things I've heard about Macdonald is that (per his tweets) he was close friends with Quebecois novelist/screenwriter Rejean Ducharme, who was more press-averse than J.D. Salinger or Thomas Pynchon.
He also tweeted about the time Bob Dylan invited him over to his home - amazing to hear, and to him a huge surprise because he was still a relative "unknown" at the time. He deleted those tweets within a day, but fans grabbed the whole thing and posted it elsewhere.

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#42 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:58 pm

The Narrator Returns wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:50 pm
It's probably worth sharing a subsequent Bill Cosby joke of his:
There's a comedian, Patton Oswalt, who told me: "I think the worst part of the Cosby thing was the hypocrisy." And I disagree. [...] I thought it was the raping.
Yeah, the flip facetious remarks (like the one on The View) are a golden part of his routine, but I imagine that gets Norm in occasional trouble. On one of Dennis Miller's cable shows he said in passing that O.J. was a fine guy without adding any other comment, and this was right after his run on Weekend Update where he excoriated him constantly.

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Norm MacDonald (1959-2021)

#43 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:04 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:58 pm
The Narrator Returns wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:50 pm
It's probably worth sharing a subsequent Bill Cosby joke of his:
There's a comedian, Patton Oswalt, who told me: "I think the worst part of the Cosby thing was the hypocrisy." And I disagree. [...] I thought it was the raping.
Yeah, the flip facetious remarks (like the one on The View) are a golden part of his routine, but I imagine that gets Norm in occasional trouble. On one of Dennis Miller's cable shows he said in passing that O.J. was a fine guy without adding any other comment, and this was right after his run on Weekend Update where he excoriated him constantly.
That's a great clip from Norm on Miller, and there's also the classic one after O.J. was released from prison when Norm goes in the opposite direction and says he supports O.J. because clearly he "did his time," wrote a book on not killing his wife, etc. etc. It's just so on-brand when everyone else in the room, and the country, is vehemently confident in O.J.'s guilt for Norm to go against the public opinion, including his own!

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hearthesilence
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Re: Norm Macdonald (1959-2021)

#44 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:33 pm

A top ten from Forbes, all worth seeing but if you only have a minute, watch #1.

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Norm Macdonald (1959-2021)

#45 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:34 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:33 pm
A top ten from Forbes, all worth seeing but if you only have a minute, watch #1.
I think the Conan gift basket joke at no. 10 should be higher up the ladder, but no. 1 is classic

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Saturnome
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Re: Norm Macdonald (1959-2021)

#46 Post by Saturnome » Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:06 pm

beamish14 wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:32 pm
One of the craziest and most amusing things I've heard about Macdonald is that (per his tweets) he was close friends with Quebecois novelist/screenwriter Rejean Ducharme, who was more press-averse than J.D. Salinger or Thomas Pynchon.
With that I learn that Macdonald was born and raised in Quebec City where I'm from, but never learned french, despite the fact that anglophones are something like 1% of the population. I wonder how these two met, or how Ducharme met anyone really.
Norm Macdonald wrote: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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