Norm Macdonald is a stand-up deity. That doesn’t make him a household name like Amy Schumer.
Macdonald almost earned that title during his brief stint on “Saturday Night Live.” His Weekend Update segment killed it every Saturday night. He wasn’t Dennis Miller. He was different. His comedy made you uncomfortable until the joke finally kicked in.
Then you’d laugh and silently applaud. Or sometimes you just winced.
No one has caught up to Macdonald’s singular vibe since. The Tina Fey/Amy Poehler version of Weekend Update has its defenders. Their shtick was anything but dangerous. Macdonald brought an edge to every fake newscast. He was fearless, occasionally rude and always worth staying up late to see.
Now, he’s hitting the promotional circuit for his book, “Based on a True Story: A Memoir.”
If the book is 1/16th as good as his new interview with Vulture, It’s the book of the year.
Consider the following seven Macdonald quotes. Each is as nutrient rich as any comedian can muster.
If you can tell me one funny, socially relevant joke I’d give you a million dollars
What. A. Relief. Is anyone else tired of lectures from Amy Schumer? Macdonald clearly is. He doesn’t name check her specifically. The interviewer does, though.
Comedians, when they get really good, and nowadays they don’t even have to get good, reach a point where they feel they should be philosophers.
Macdonald isn’t done with Schumer and her ilk yet.
I don’t like agenda comedy.
Macdonald is roasting his alma mater, “Saturday Night Live,” here. But he might as well be discussing today’s political comedy in toto. Late night. Stand ups. It’s all agenda driven these days. And he’s not a fan.
if Donald Trump is displayed as an idiot all the time and Hillary’s not, then it shows they’re out of touch with what people think, and it’s just not fair.
He’s still riffing on “SNL.” The show once was a ballsy, provocative blowtorch. Now, it hits the safest targets possible while missing the ones half the country is begging it to mock.
My God almighty, [Hillary Clinton] is the only person in the world who’d be at risk of losing to Donald Trump
Isn’t that the real narrative of 2016? Macdonald acknowledges Trump is a lousy candidate. So why can’t the veteran Democrat put her away?
We’ve come to this crazy idea that entertainers should be political experts.
Macdonald is defending fellow “SNL” alum Jimmy Fallon. Seems some are aghast that the “Tonight Show” host invited Trump on the show and treated him like a … guest. These same folks didn’t mind when Jimmy Kimmel or Zach Galfianakis did the same with Hillary Clinton. That was different. Just don’t ask how. It’s complicated.
I’m the expert at telling jokes, so what’d be the point of my listening to people who know nothing about comedy? That’d be like if people were saying to Picasso, “What’s with that nose?”
Waiting for Macdonald to apologize for a joke? Good luck with that. He acknowledges he doesn’t always hit the mark, but should an audience member get more credence than a guy who has been telling jokes professionally for 30-odd years?