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Norm McDonald is one of the funniest ppeople alive. I think he deserves a far bigger audience and a far higher profile than the one he already enjoys. His laid-back, deadpan delivery is magnificent, and he’s the only one who can really pull that style off consistently. His new stand-up DVD is no exception – only Norm McDonald would make the TITLE of his DVD as deadpan as he is – Me Doing Stand-Up. Even the title makes me laugh.
Through this stand-up special McDonald tackles some subjects that might be taboo, or even controversial. But I never noticed. I was laughing too much and enjoying the show, so it was only after it was over that I thought – oh yeah – some of that might have offended someone somewhere. Death, “battling” cancer, alcoholism, the lack of anonymity in “Alcoholics Anonymous” – McDonald is not mean-spirited in any way, there is no malice in his material or his delivery, and I doubt there is a subject on earth he could tackle that would ruffle too many feathers.
I think his bit about his uncle, lying in his hospital bed “battling” cancer was the funniest – “here’s how he fought that battle – lynig in his hospital bed watching Matlock.” Norm (I feel like I can use his first name because we went to many of the same schools and so, though I’ve never met him, I know him tangentially through less than thirty people – we’re tight) suggests that “battle” is the worst possible word, because when people die they “lost the battle with cancer” – and who wants to go out a loser?
Norm is getting a little more recognition lately – his sports show is running on the Comedy Network now, and this DVD features a sitcom pilot of a show tentatively called Back To Norm. The sitcom isn’t nearly as funny as his stand-up though. McDonald is at his best when he’s performing only his own original material. And Me Doing Stand-up is fantastic as a result. It comes to DVD June 14th from Paramount Home Entertainment.