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Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 15: Norm Macdonald

Here we are. Finally. The anticipation was palpable. It's the epic Norm Macdonald episode! Ninety-minutes of pure Norm. Well, maybe not the Norm you're used to, but certainly the deep and thoughtful Norm that was hinted at on WTF with Marc Maron. That is, I'm not sure how much comedy nerds will like it. There's a bit of comedy talk, but there's a lot more serious talk – although all delivered in the awesome Norm delivery. So don't expect any conversation on his Saturday Night Live gig or his movies or sitcoms, because there's precious little talk of his career.

I take full blame for the direction it went. In my defense, however, Norm clearly loves to talk about these topics. In my head, because I'm interested in these topics, too, I figured we'd touch on them and move on. But it just kept on going. And going. The episode is 90 minutes long. Quickly fast-forwarding through it, I can tell you most of the topics and names touched on:
  • aging
  • homophobia
  • Adam Carolla's comments on women
  • siblings
  • his days living in Vancouver
  • being a dad
  • early shyness
  • hypochondria
  • colonoscopies
  • dying
  • indulgence
  • avoidance
  • Tolstoy
  • God
  • "important" comedy
  • Sam Kinison
  • Jerry Seinfeld/Brian Regan
  • Thoreau
  • Bob Hope/Richard Pryor
  • smiling and the spread of goodwill
  • John Candy/Charlie Chaplin/Bill Cosby
  • influences
  • literature
  • politics
  • pride
  • the scientific method
Hopefully there's enough comedy-talk for those that want it.  Next time he's here, I'll make it a point to focus more on his career. But this was pretty great, I thought.

I heard from some people who saw him at the Saturday Yuk Yuk's show (i.e. after this recording, which took place on a Saturday afternoon) that they thought Norm was high or drunk because of his voice. As you'll hear in this episode, that's just the way he sounds. He even mentions it early in how many people think he's stoned. Near the end of our chat he says enough people told him he slurred his words that he got tested for Multiple Sclerosis. But he passed. Or failed. Or whatever signifies he doesn't have the disease.

Let me paint the picture of the set-up. Norm was sitting reclined throughout the interview, with his back on the seat of the sofa and his shoulders and head up against the back of it. His legs were propped up against the coffee table. So if it sounds like he's about to fall asleep, that may be why.

I should mention that at about the half-hour mark you'll notice a difference in sound. My good recorder (two mics and a mixer) crapped out on us. Thankfully, I had along my backup: a small, handheld device. It's not as good, obviously, but it's just fine.

Here's a hint of what's to come, in video form:

Tune in tonight at 11 pm PST on CFRO, 102.7 FM in Vancouver or livestream the show at for the full meal deal. The episode will drop in podcast format next Sunday, July 22. If you miss tonight's airing and you want to hear it before next Sunday, I believe you'll get the first hour only at the station's website. But you'll have to wait until the 22nd for the full 90-minute podcast.

And with this instant classic out of the way, we're taking two weeks off the air. I'll still report into this space as the need arises, so bookmark us and check back.


Daniel said...

Hey Thank you for the GREAT interview, i really enjoy it, i´m a comedian form Venezuela and i love Norm´s work, the interview is incomplete, when are you gonna post the rest?

Guy MacPherson said...

Hey Daniel, thanks for listening. If you listened live via streaming from 11 pm PST to 12:30 am PST, you should have been able to hear the whole thing. If you tried the station archives after that time, you'll only have heard the first hour.

Here's how it works: The show is on radio one Sunday, and then is released in podcast form the following Sunday. You can download it at iTunes or wherever else you can find it. I post it here, too. So check back next Sunday and you'll get the rest of it. Make sense?

Anonymous said...

Yes Thank you men i enjoy all the interviews i have listened untill now

Anonymous said...

good interview though a bit depressing. what's with the convoluted process for releasing it though? live stream, then 2/3rd posted, then the full release? seems silly-and a pain for the most eager listeners, who have to come back later for the last half hour. It also increases the total bandwidth, having everyone d/l the 60 then the 90 min version. please rethink. thanks for a great interview though.

Ben said...

Great news!

Norm's the greatest comic there is and the most intelligent too. Really looking forward to the 22nd so I can listen to the whole thing.

That episode of WTF is probably the best Maron's done as well, you can't go wrong with Norm!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I thought this interview was fantastic. I wouldn't worry at all if there was not much talk about comedy or his career, I find it much more interesting when the conversation takes its natural course and you get a really good insight into how one of the comic greats think, instead of all the usual banal questions. Looking forward to hearing the whole 90