Will Ferrell Reveals Norm Macdonald Beef That (Probably) Never Was
It’s hard to have actual beef with Comedy Nice Guy Will Ferrell. Sure, when he played Alex Trebek on the recurring sketch Celebrity Jeopardy, the character would get into it with Norm Macdonald’s Burt Reynolds and especially, Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery. But all that sparring was in fun, right? Maybe not, according to a story Ferrell told Dana Carvey and David Spade on today’s episode of the Fly on the Wall podcast.
Specifically, Ferrell recalled an installment where Macdonald’s Burt found a big foam cowboy hat backstage. “That's funny, huh? Wearing a cowboy hat.”
“There's some beat where I have to be super exasperated with (Macdonald/Reynolds) and I yell at him,” remembers Ferrell. “And we get out of the sketch and Norm comes running after me. He's like, ‘Hey, Will? Everything OK?’”
“I go, ‘Yeah, why?’”
“‘You seemed kind of mad at me out there.’”
“No, Norm, I'm acting! This is like the fourth time we've done the sketch!”
That didn’t convince Macdonald. “But that time," Norm argued, "it seemed like you really were mad at me for some reason.” Ferrell reassured his castmate: “No, we're good.”
So was Macdonald being serious? Carvey doubted it. “That’s very Norm,” he said. “That’s his sense of humor.”
“But I don’t think he was doing a bit!” insisted Ferrell, with the three SNL alums agreeing that Norm could be sensitive at times.
“You can commit hard,” noted Spade. “You probably scared him.”
Whether Macdonald was serious or not, there was no real antagonism between the two comics. The same couldn’t be said of Macdonald’s testy relationship with Chris Kattan. “I don’t find (Kattan) funny,” Norm told Rolling Stone. “What can I say? Never made me laugh.”
“(Macdonald) used to give Kattan so much shit,” remembered Spade. “It was tough.” Ferrell’s next story just reinforced the feud. Kattan told Ferrell about the time that he and Macdonald were on a cross-country flight together, L.A. to New York. Because it was a long fight, Kattan had taken off his shoes. You can probably guess what happens next.
“He can't find his shoes,” said Ferrell. “They're about to land, can't find his shoes. He's going to the flight attendant, ‘You seen my shoes? I took them off?’” When the loafers couldn’t be found, Kattan knew who to accuse.
“Norm. Come on. You took my shoes.”
“No, I didn't. I didn't take your shoes. Why would I take your shoes? It's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I would never.”
“Come on, give me back my shoes. I know you took them.”
“I don't know what you're talking about.”
So Kattan has to walk through JFK with no shoes, padding along in just in his socks. An entire season goes by, and one day Kattan and Norm are getting into it about something else entirely. But Norm had a card up his sleeve, said Farrell, just waiting for the right moment to play it.
“Norm finally goes, ‘Oh yeah, one other thing. I did take your shoes. That flight in November? I took ‘em and threw them in the trash can, just so you know.’”
Just another chapter in the Legend of Norm Macdonald, the comedian with absolutely no effs to give.