Tag: Norm MacDonald

Norm Macdonald: Dostoyevsky in Front of a Red Brick Wall


The smartest comedians portray themselves as the dumbest; Norm Macdonald was the best at this sleight of hand. He graduated high school at 14, read Russian literature in his downtime, and had long philosophical discussions with clergy. Norm also gambled, repeatedly trading all his earthly wealth for a queen of diamonds or a Habs’ hat trick. The sleight of hand was best left on stage but he learned from the experience. Macdonald was a student of human nature first, comedy second.

Norm died Tuesday at 61 following a secret decade-long battle with cancer. A terrible description, since he thought it cruel to say someone “lost their battle” with the dread disease. “If you die, the cancer dies at the same time,” he said in one of his stand-up specials. “That’s not a loss, it’s a draw.”

Macdonald’s finest moments were unexpected. His famed “roast” of friend Bob Saget that was nothing but corny one-liners from a 1930s jokebook. Talk show appearances with Conan O’Brien and David Letterman with made-up anecdotes and rambling seven-minute jokes.

Norm MacDonald, #MeToo, and the Fatal Flaw in the New Morality


Twitter is a cesspool. As if we needed more evidence, legendary comedian and acclaimed author Norm MacDonald was targeted for saying words to a reporter that a microscopic minority of humorless scolds didn’t care for. That’s all the pretext needed to subject a person, famous or not, to Twitter’s two-hour hate.

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed MacDonald on Tuesday to preview his upcoming Netflix show. The affable Canadian politely spoke his mind. For better or worse, his mind works differently than the rest of ours, which is one of the reasons he’s so funny.

Here are the meager examples of MacDonald’s wrongthink:

Who Should Replace Letterman? — Troy Senik


After David Letterman made the announcement yesterday that he’ll be stepping down from the Late Show next year, Twitter was abuzz with both tributes to Dave’s reign and speculation about his successor.

I’ll demur somewhat on the former point. I have extremely fond memories of Dave during his Late Night days at NBC and the earlier years of his CBS gig, but, on the occasions when I’ve watched in recent years, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the man’s famous penchant for misery has infected the entire show. The Late Show seems increasingly like a chore. (By contrast, I’d recommend Letterman’s recent appearance on Jerry Seinfeld’s web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” where he came off as surprisingly loose and funny).