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Norm MacDonald: Greatest (Canadian) In America?

Posted by Maximum Fun on 10th September 2008


In high school, I was absolutely convinced that Norm MacDonald was the greatest person in the world. When he claims he’s a big fan of Courtney Thorne-Smith from seeing her on Tom Snyder, it’s truly a thing of majesty. He tops that, of course, with a remark about her film career that’s so amazing I choose not to reveal it here.

So: three videos of Norm on Late Night in 1997, including this exchange…
Norm (interrupting Thorne-Smith’s interview): “Are you talking about Melrose Place?”
Conan: “You are the biggest ass in the world.”

Now, for the past five or ten years, Norm has mostly been performing in casinos and playing poker professionally, as far as I can tell. But as our friends at Videogum pointed out, he recently put on one of the truly great performances in Norm MacDonald history.

As you probably know, Comedy Central organizes phony “roasts” for semi-celebrities like Flava Flav and Pamela Anderson. Funny comedians who don’t know these people at all come on, and tell some jokes they (or maybe Doug Benson or Morgan Murphy) wrote the night before. Unlike an actual roast, which is an expression of long-standing friendship, the Comedy Central Roast is an expression of 16-24 year old boys persistent commitment to dirty joke watching and general contemptuousness.

Norm MacDonald recently guested on the Bob Saget roast. Now Norm and Saget are actually friends — Saget directed Norm’s (hilarious) film “Dirty Work.” But Norm was apparently intent on bringing down the whole affair. Not only did he read the newspaper throughout, pausing only to look up, confused, when someone directed an insult his way, but he performed the amazing jokes below.

After the roast, Norm talked to MaxFunPal Chris Hardwick, and insisted that he believe the event to be a toast, not a roast.

Norm has a really special gift — the ability to sincerely commit to something absolutely, while mocking it with equal vigor. He’s an amazing talent.