Monday, August 18, 2008

What the hell, Norm MacDonald?

New commenter Sean asked for my reaction to Norm MacDonald's set last night on the Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget and the funny thing is that I was planning on writing something about it anyway, that's how in sync we all are, blog readers. Doesn't it make you believe in magic? Magic and... coincidence? We are SO on the same wavelength unless we just happened to be thinking the same thing.

Anyway, so vexed was I by Norm's confounding set that I took to the internet earlier today and it seems opinion is pretty divided. Norm MacDonald is such a lightning rod! I think he was doing anti-comedy, deliberately, which explains his dad-from-My-Three-Sons persona when he was sitting on the dais reading a newspaper and seeming earnestly-though-frustratingly oblivious to what was going on. I wanted to shake him. Look alive, Norm! I would have yelled.

I laughed at the cauliflower joke, especially when he began explaining the jokes. I thought it was funny, but in general I prefer comedy to anti-comedy. But I thought it was sweet when Bob Saget teared up at the end of his set.


Don Allen said...

I thought his set was AWESOME. I was literally in tears, but that's because it was pretty much exactly what I expected, and wanted him to do. The absolutely dry, emotionless delivery he gives is just trademark Norm.

What's truly great about what he does is not finding any hidden meaning in his punchlines or anything, it's the awesome reaction he gets from the audience--the puzzled looks my friends had on their faces while he was on were just priceless to see. My friends thought I was laughing my ass off at his cheesy jokes, but the truth was I was laughing at them looking so confused.

That's Norm's appeal to me. He makes you feel like you're part of the joke, not just listening to someone talk. It's almost Andy Kaufman-like, in my opinion.

Toddrod said...

I only like Norm MacDonald when he impersonates Bob Dole.


todd said...

I only caught the last 20 minutes the other night, but I was laughing for most of it, which is unusual for a Comedy Central Roast.

From what it sounds like, Norm was awesome as usual. Sometimes bad jokes are the funniest kind. Isn't that why we watch Red Eye?

Don Allen said...

Joe said...

Toddrod, I used to love Norm MacDonald impersonating Bob Dole. He had all the mannerisms and gestures down cold. He was hillarious. I just searched YouTube for an SNL skit they did during the 1996 election but couldn't find it. That's one of my all time SNL favorites.

I have the roast set to record tonight in case I'm watching the Games - which I was up watching late last night again even though I thought this week I wouldn't be.

But there's still a little more gymnastics left, and the woman's beach volleyball final is tomorrrow night (I think). I just have to see Misty May and Kerri Walsh win the gold again like they did in Athens four years ago. They're an amazing team!

Rbastid said...

As I now get to watch this for work, for like the 11th time today, I think Norm was trying to act like he was on the Old Tyme Roast. But he decided to have someone else write the jokes for him, he really stuck to just reading them and even pointed out that, well it was written on the card. It seems that Gilbert and Bob got the jokes and were crackin the hell up.

My Co-Worker is watching the same thing and is laughing hysterically.

Now I think its your new "newsy" thing to do, find out what the hell went on there.

Rbastid said...

Wait wait, why are we talking about Norm, Gilbert was the greatest thing to be on Comedy Central in years.

Ted from Accounting said...

So I just watched that YouTube clip and I'm kind of speechless! What was that? Anti-Comedy? OMG!

How could those people have been laughing at Norm's routine! Could I have the last 5 minutes of my life back please!

Norm MacDonald = Sucks!

Sean said...

Thanks for the shout out! I agree the anti-comedy comedy is dreadfully awful. I'm not the biggest Norm McDonald fan though, and judging by the reaction from the crowd I think they lit up extra "APPLAUSE" signs while he was on to make it easier to watch.

I would have liked to see Lisa Lampenelli be there as well as the Olson twins, as the roast was more about them then about Bob.

Hope to see you on Red Eye soon!

Joe said...


It's not his fault if he has to read his jokes off index cards. Alzheimer's does strange things to people. Let's remember the good times...