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Incredibly in character for him and his approach to comedy to not ever have explicitly make jokes premised on his own personal struggle, but he did have a very good bit about "losing the battle" with cancer, starting about 1 minute in here.

I disagreed with him often, especially as he became older and crankier, but I thought his work continued to be funny until the end.
 
Incredibly in character for him and his approach to comedy to not ever have explicitly make jokes premised on his own personal struggle, but he did have a very good bit about "losing the battle" with cancer, starting about 1 minute in here.

I disagreed with him often, especially as he became older and crankier, but I thought his work continued to be funny until the end.

I'm digging through YouTube videos and found a recent one with him wearing a familiar red hat. That's unfortunate, but I admit I haven't been keeping up with his career lately, and can always fall back on my memories of him from the 1990s.
 

muteKi

Hashtag give it to gilly
Incredibly in character for him and his approach to comedy to not ever have explicitly make jokes premised on his own personal struggle, but he did have a very good bit about "losing the battle" with cancer, starting about 1 minute in here.

I disagreed with him often, especially as he became older and crankier, but I thought his work continued to be funny until the end.

I think of him as the one funny conservative comedian so I get you there for sure.
 

ThornGhost

lofi posts to relax/study to
(he/him)
I'm digging through YouTube videos and found a recent one with him wearing a familiar red hat. That's unfortunate, but I admit I haven't been keeping up with his career lately, and can always fall back on my memories of him from the 1990s.

UGH I did not know that.
 
I think of him as the one funny conservative comedian so I get you there for sure.

To steal an observation, a big problem with lot of explicitly conservative comedy (and then, in the Trump era, a lot of liberal comedy) is that they get too angry and forget to actually tell a joke.

Norm MacDonald always remembered to tell a joke. He was always absolutely 100% committed to telling a joke.


In his case it also helps that a lot of his bits hinged on his skillful delivery and subverting expectations about the structure of comedy, although he was good at bread and butter observational comedy as well.

edit: i keep rewatching this clip today and the gap between i walked through blood and bones and he was in northern canada gets me every time
 
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R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
People tend to get more conservative as they get older, but Norm was still a funny guy who get could steer even the worst joke to a punchline. I wish he had gotten to star in more things. I am one of the six people on earth that enjoyed Screwed.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I wish he had gotten to star in more things
If you mean acting, he seemed more at home with the kind of stand up and shows he was doing. Norm's appearances on Conan are God-tier. If you are willing to have someone wrest control from you, I can think of no better guest comedian.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Gonna miss him. His stint on SNL was legendary for me - it was just about the time I actually started watching those kinds of shows, and Weekend Update was always my absolute favorite.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I can’t think of many people who could land a joke like Norm. He was a nuts and bolts comedian, but he was so good at it.
 
A retraction... I watched the video just to make sure, and the red hat in the thumbnail was actually a Redwings hat. My apologies. I don't know if the video in question is especially flattering, but it's kind of hard to pin Norm's intentions down. You never know when he's being malicious, provocative, or just plain inscrutable. You notice a video like this one about white privilege or another about cancel culture, and you're like "Uh oh." Then you give it a closer examination and you're like, "Uh?"

 

Someone mentioned this segment from Norm's short-lived sitcom, and like an overstuffed UHaul, I'm still trying to unpack it. Is... is that the dad from ALF playing James from Team Rocket?
 

Issun

Let's 90s gaming
He got shittier as he aged for sure, but his delivery is something I still try to emulate to this day. He'll be missed.
 
Norm was a shithead, but that was kinda his schtick. As much as he was an ass, he was never such an ass that I'd remotely wish ill on the guy. His humor was very hit and miss with me, but his good stuff was enjoyable. He felt very ahead of his time for the kinds of stuff he was doing. RIP dude.
 

That Old Chestnut

A E S T H E T I C
(he/him)
Norm's gone??? Are you fucking kidding me right now?!?

(Sorry, this is the first I'm even hearing of this. Like, I just saw the thread title here, and thought "please let this be a bit" or something irrational along those lines. Didn't even know he was sick. This sucks.)
 
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ThornGhost

lofi posts to relax/study to
(he/him)
He got shittier as he aged for sure, but his delivery is something I still try to emulate to this day. He'll be missed.

For what Norm did you had to be in complete control of the energy in a room. Untrained people are going to squirm and try to fill these awkward social voids he created, which completely destroys what he was doing. He makes you live in these moments. I think that atmosphere might only exist on stage.

It makes the rapport between Conan and he all the better because Conan understands this and is able to vent his (and the audience's) frustration without destroying Norm's control of the room.
 

Kazin

did i do all of that?
(he/him)
Whatever issues to be had with the rest of the show (there's plenty), Norm's delivery of "yeah, that's good, drop me really hard on the couch like that" in Family Guy like season 1 or whatever where he plays Death having broken his ankle, has lived in my head for like 20 years. That line is not and would not be funny if it weren't for Norm's delivery.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Whatever issues to be had with the rest of the show (there's plenty), Norm's delivery of "yeah, that's good, drop me really hard on the couch like that" in Family Guy like season 1 or whatever where he plays Death having broken his ankle, has lived in my head for like 20 years. That line is not and would not be funny if it weren't for Norm's delivery.

Oh yeah! Between this and Ed Asner passing recently, I have been reading too many obituaries where voice work isn't noted, and I totally forget my favorite roles for them can be from, like, The Fairy Odd Parents or Mike Tyson Mysteries. Thank you for reminding me I should be sadder about Norm's passing.
 
Whatever issues to be had with the rest of the show (there's plenty), Norm's delivery of "yeah, that's good, drop me really hard on the couch like that" in Family Guy like season 1 or whatever where he plays Death having broken his ankle, has lived in my head for like 20 years. That line is not and would not be funny if it weren't for Norm's delivery.
Later episodes replaced Macdonald with Adam Carolla as the voice of Death, and it changes the character. He's a disgruntled hothead rather than just being flippant and passive-aggressive, and Norm's more subtle performance is missed.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Saw this elsewhere:

"I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure if you died, the cancer dies at the same time. That's not a loss. That's a draw."
-- Norm Macdonald
 
He was so impossibly good at poking and prodding without ever really feeling there was malice behind it, but obviously above all he just knew comedy more than anyone could ever possibly know.
 
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