Only a certain kind of comic can adventurously open his set with a death riff.
For lack of a better word (because there is no other word, until now), we will call this sort of confidently kooky comedian: grimsical. Yeah, yeah: half grim, half whimsical.
Norm Macdonald acts grimsical much of the time on Me Doing Standup, his sometimes sentimental and consistently sharp new album from Comedy Central Records, though all the while sounding mordant, not morbid, an impressive achievement maybe only a funnyman of his stature can accomplish.
Always the smart aleck, always the wise guy, first as the anchor of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live in the ’90s, now as the host of Sports Show With Norm Macdonald, a SportsCenter spoof on Comedy Central, Macdonald speaks fluent sarcasm. On Me, he uses that skill to soften hard truths (some personal) about mortality and violence and disease– unusual comic topics, agreed?
Looking at life from odd angles allows Macdonald to see the upside of alcoholism: “It’s true you’ve got a disease,” he explains, “but I think you’ve got the best one.” He defies the usual gravity of an AA meeting with incisive analysis of participants who painstakingly camouflage their identities but candidly illuminate their darkest secrets to strangers with startling detail: “Did I ever tell you I blew a dog for a pint of gin?”[audio:http://www.punchlinemagazine.com/audio/norm.mp3]
He detours from his singular set list only to ride comedy retreads Tiger Woods (“Are you telling me that super-handsome, charismatic dude likes to lie with the ladies…? He always presented himself in public as a golfer”) and O.J. Simpson, his bane on SNL. Mostly, though, he humorously reveals his nostalgic and sinister sides. Any members of Future Psychosexual Sadists of America reading this, listen up: Macdonald has, well, killer tips for you.
We highly recommend you snag a copy of Me Doing Standup. Just click the image below!