Here’s why Norm McDonald was comedy royalty. It’s not ‘SNL’

Letterman proved to be a key figure in Macdonald’s career, a champion of stand-up work (the talk-show host said no one was any fun) who did comic books in the final weeks of his show. Macdonald breaks his distinctive scathing style, ending with a surprisingly moving tribute, displaying an emotional side that was usually hidden only beneath the surface of his comedy.

one in columns from 2017, I argued, that his sensibility to McDonald’s comedy language was the plaintext of his distinctly poetic brand. He created stylish turns of phrase and the flourishes of people seem conversational and offhand. Bob Dylan’s boyfriend, Macdonald, was also a sponge at the effects of speech or unusual words, borrowing and rearranging them to create odd-sounding sentences.

But describing him only as a master of joke writing misses out on his agility, horribly deadpan delivery and, above all, an unparalleled level of commitment. He never ran out of jokes and never strayed. You see it in their Bob Saget roast: the conviction to move on despite the tangle of reaction. He pleased the crowd without pleasing the crowd. And none had a nimble and more confident sarcastic voice, which he found humorous in obscurity. There was a surprisingly awkward moment on David Spade’s talk show a few years ago when Macdonald told Jay Leno that he was probably the best talk-show host ever, and no one, including Leno, was able to tell what He was honest.

There’s a lot of fun in this marginal space between honesty and just jokes. One of MacDonald’s most impressive feats is writing an exhaustive memoir that remains there. It’s one of the greatest comedian memoirs, but also a frankly depressing mix of fact and fiction, cliché and originality. It’s a lot of fun, sometimes exhausting, sometimes intelligent. Topic, “based on a true story, ” is not just a lie. It lies in their belief that, as they say, ” there is no way to tell a true story. I mean actually a true one, because of memory. It’s just not good.”

Just because you can’t really tell the truth doesn’t mean art can’t get closer to the truth. in one interview with new york magazine, Macdonald shied away from the trend toward confessional art, saying that he thought the art was supposed to be concealed. that was revealing.

The fact that he battled cancer for a decade was something he certainly didn’t advertise in his work. His death came as a shock to many. But the clues were everywhere. Death has been one of his favorite subjects in recent years. In a great viral moment, he delivered one of the earliest and best comedy club sets about Coronavirus. it was on Reforms in Los Angeles in March 2020 Just before the venue closes. “It’s funny that now we all know how we’re going to die,” he said. “What order is this about?”

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