15 Trivia Tidbits About Norm Macdonald
So you think you know everything about one Norman Gene Macdonald, the beloved Canuck comic who thumbed his nose at NBC authority? We’ll just see about that. Try on these 15 trivia tidbits to add to your arsenal of arcane Norm knowledge.
Norm got his butt kicked on Star Search.
If you’re too young to remember Star Search, it was like America’s Got Talent but somehow cheesier. Norm competed in the comedy category, eventually losing to Bushman, a Liberian comic who now cleans apartments in Los Angeles.
Norm was a writer for Roseanne.
Roseanne was a terrible boss, handing out numbered shirts to the writing staff so she could refer to her underlings by digit. One of those underlings was Norm, who nonetheless defended Roseanne after her racist Twitter tirades. (He later clarified and apologized.)
Norm played Death on Family Guy .
And for some reason, he was later replaced by Adam Carolla. Really, Seth?
Norm went to college and majored in … mathematics?
Norm was doing his plusses and minuses at Carleton University before dropping out to pursue comedy dreams. Later, he took one broadcasting class that he says was “slightly more useful than math but mostly useless.”
Norm bombed at his first open mic.
No one said amateur night at Yuk Yuks (real club name, don’t forget to tip your waitress) was going to be easy. Norm’s first shot didn’t go well and he split, vowing never to do comedy again.
He did it again.
His Dirty Work was directed by Bob Saget.
The revenge comedy, co-written by and starring Norm, was Chris Farley’s last movie. Ironically, Saget and Macdonald both passed away unexpectedly in recent years, only months apart.
He filled in for Kramer in the Andy Kaufman movie.
Michael Richards refused to play himself in Man on the Moon, opting not to recreate the fake fight he staged with Andy Kaufman on late-night comedy show Fridays. Enter Norm, who played the future-Kramer punching Jim Carrey as Kaufman.
He nearly won $1 million on Celebrity Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?
Norm made it to the final question in his quest to win a million bucks for Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Charity Camp. He kept trying to give a best-guess answer, but Regis’s repeated warnings about all the money the kids would lose finally convinced Norm to walk away with half. Of course, Norm had the answer right all along. Moral of the story: Never, ever listen to Regis freaking Philbin.
His album Ridiculous was an all-star comedy affair.
Ridiculous featured comedy sketches instead of stand-up, with help from Norm’s pals Will Ferrell, Jon Lovitz, Tim Meadows, Molly Shannon, and Artie Lange. With the very idea of homosexuality being the punchline of more than one sketch, a good part of Ridiculous doesn’t hold up well.
Norm almost did a fake reality show with Garry Shandling.
The Norm Macdonald Reality Show, featuring a fictionalized, down-on-his-luck version of Norm and co-starring Garry Shandling, was picked up by FX. Half of its episodes were filmed, but FX pulled the plug before it ever hit the air. Surely, some tapes are out there somewhere …?
He was a poker commentator, despite once losing $400,000 in one sitting.
Hello there, season 7 of High Stakes Poker! Norm was a natural for the show, especially if you believe the stories that he gambled and lost everything he had -- three times.
He was the last person to do stand-up on Late Night with David Letterman.
Letterman loved him some Norm Macdonald, inviting the comic to be his farewell laugh while professing his love.
He once hawked fried chicken.
Norm was one of several comics to star as Col. Sanders in a series of bizarre KFC ads. Just our opinion, but he was way more believable than Jim Gaffigan.
Norm had his own dating app.
Somehow, Norm was the celebrity face behind Loko, a Canadian video dating app. Which is objectively stupid -- what in the world could Norm Macdonald know about dating?
He dated Elle Macpherson.
We stand corrected.