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Norm Macdonald’s Greatest Talk Show Appearances

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Norm MacDonald was known as a “comic’s comic”, meaning in a room full of comedians, he was usually the guy telling the jokes, other comedians often referred to him as their favorite.  David Letterman loved Norm so much he made sure Norm was the final comedic act on the Late Show, high praise indeed.

Norm performing on the Last Letterman show

On Late with Seth Myers this week, Seth told Norm stories and admitted he stole Norm’s weekend update delivery, Norms anecdote about how his son’s reacted to Seth’s act is wonderful:

Seth Remembers Norm Macdonald on Late Night

Norm died this week, reportedly of after a nine year battle with cancer, he was 61. His former  SNL co-star and stand-up co-headliner Jon Lovitz told the press  that no one seemed to know Norm had had cancer, even his close friends weren’t told.   The assumption is that Norm didn’t want anyone to know, perhaps he thought it would skew the way people saw his comedy.

Norm was easily my favorite talk show guest, he would come onto any talk show and completely disrupt its dynamic, almost turning his lack of ‘ traditional performance’ into the performance.   He would come onto Conan and tell very long, old school, off-color jokes, that would make Conan howl in laughter and feigned frustration.  No one else could pull off breaking all the talk show rules quite like he could.

When you’re the favorite comic of Conan and Letterman, you’ve done something right.

Norm on Conan telling his famous ‘Moth’ joke

Norm telling a joke just for Andy Richter

Some people might remember him playing characters like Bob Dole or Burt Reynolds on SNL

Some might remember him for his always super edgy and plain ‘I don’t give a fuck’ ownership of Weekend Update on SNL.  Norm eventually got fired from update for making too many OJ jokes…OJ happened to be a friend of NBC’s CEO at the time.  Norm didn’t care.

Maybe you saw Norm on The View explaining why he was sticking up for comedian friends Roseanne Barr, Chris Hardwick and Louis CK when they were being cancelled.  A fascinatingly calm voice, questioning the lack of due process, when cancelling comedians.  No one else dared raise their hands, lest they be cancelled too.  Norm didn’t care.

Norm on the View

You may have seen Norm’s fairly recent talk show, Norm Macdonald live, where he would interview funny or legendary people, and it would frequently go completely off the rails.  Because going in a direction you did not expect, was Norm’s thing.  Norm and Super Dave are two peas in pod.  Old school joke tellers that don’t care at all about the rules or the format, they just want to be unexpected, irreverent and above all, funny.

Norm talking with Super Dave, and going in every direction at once

If you’d like to read more about Norm’s career the NYTimes has a decent timeline up, about his book, his controversies, his succeses and failures ect.

Rest in Peace Norm Macdonald, my favorite talk show guest, the world will miss you.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife (not so much nightlife anymore).

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