Norm Macdonald’s Greatest Talk Show Appearances
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.
In every important way, in the world of stand-up, Norm was the best. An opinion shared by me and all peers. Always up to something, never certain, until his matter-of-fact delivery leveled you.
— David Letterman (@Letterman) September 14, 2021
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.
I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I'm so sad for all of us today.
— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) September 14, 2021
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.