Always engaging and never compromising, comedian Jim Norton doesn’t fear talking openly and honestly about what’s on his mind.
By day, he is the co-host of the re-branded Opie Radio talk show (formerly the Opie and Anthony Show) on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. By night, he is one of the hardest working stand-ups in the business, constantly refining his material at New York-based night clubs like the famous Comedy Cellar located in Lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.
Norton’s creative efforts has yielded a third comedy special on the pay cable network Epix — called Contextually Inadequate — in where he attacks headline-making topics head on with the uncanny vision, humor and intelligence the seasoned stand-up comedian is known for. Below are a few excerpts from the exceptional conversation between Norton and Laughspin editor Dylan Gadino. To get the best experience, check out the full episode on iTunes on via Soundcloud below.
On what material he choose for his specials:
“You can’t please people. Some fans go, ‘it’s too topical.’ Then, if you are really dirty, ‘it’s all tranny jokes and sex jokes.’ So I just do what I want to do. It is a time capsule. If you look at Carlin or Pryor or any of the greats, even if some of the material is evergreen, they would do a lot of topical stuff… So even though mine, maybe, has much shorter of a shelf life, I don’t care.”
On why people hide behind internet anonymity:
“I’ve always complained about internet anonymity and people get confused by that…I am a guy who never wants you to get in trouble for what you say. So I am a guy who supports people who say things and get in trouble for them. If everyone supported people who got in trouble for what they said, if we lived in a culture where you weren’t penalized for voicing an opinion that might suck, then internet anonymity wouldn’t be needed.”
On the future of the Opie and Anthony radio show:
“It’s a volatile radio show…when you get three personalities that are that aggressive in their thinking in the same room, the fact that there hasn’t been a blow-up every three months is fucken miraculous. So, I still have hopes that the show will continue some day after a cooling off period. I really do. And I am not a blind optimist either.”
On how fake outrage and political correctness has taken over society:
“Part of it is that we’ve brought this on ourselves because a lot of people are legitimately reacting to a tremendous history of homophobia, racism, sexism. That’s not a made up thing…we’ve taught people to react that way because they’ve been subjected to that treatment. And then there’s the line they cross when now it’s just an excuse…and it’s those times when you know it’s not racist and you know it’s not sexist or homophobic, why do they react that way? Sometimes A) they just misinterpret it, and B) just like all of us, they just want to win the argument, so they grab the thing they can use — sexism, homophobia, racism — and it’s bullshit. And that’s what I think hurts the cause.”