15 Killer Jokes From the Time Norm Macdonald Hosted the ESPYs

15 Killer Jokes From the Time Norm Macdonald Hosted the ESPYs

When Dan Patrick had Norm Macdonald on his radio show a few years back, the two reminisced about the time that Macdonald hosted the ESPYs in 1998. “I was uncomfortable,” confessed Patrick, “and the jokes weren’t even directed at me.” Macdonald’s opening monologue was so pointed and funny-cruel that he says ESPN vowed never to have him host again. 

In case you needed a reminder that comedians got away with a few more things on basic cable in 1998 than they would today, here’s a recap of 15 jokes from Macdonald’s ESPY hosting experience…

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  1. “When I was asked to host the ESPYs this year, I said yes immediately for one reason and one reason only: This show has interns. Probably have a little improper relations backstage a little later.”
  2. “It’s hard to believe the ESPYs are six years old, although (NBA player) Anthony Mason swears they’re 18. So yeah, he’ll be having sex with the ESPYs in about 12 years.”
  3. “They fired (Yankee pitcher Hideki Irabu’s) translator. People see that as cruel, but I don’t know. If you’re not doing well in Yankee Stadium, do you really need a translator? ‘What’d they say?’ They say, ‘You suck! You should go back to Japan, you dirty foreigner.’”
  4. “Kickboxing, that’s my favorite sport. Kickboxing is great when you think about it. It combines the style and grace of boxing with, uh, kicking.”
  5. “(Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones) told me, ‘We have to get back to what made us a championship team: Strippers and crack.’”
  6. “Ted Turner and NBC plan to start their own rival football league to compete with the NFL. Not much is known about the specifics of this new league except for this: It will suck.”
  7. “The Nuggets are having a bad year. As a matter of fact, they’re making a film about the team. They had a pretty catchy title. It’s ‘Black Men Can’t Jump Either.’”
  8. “NBA All-Star Weekend is over. That was exciting, man. The East beat the West. Jeff Hornacek won the three-point shootout. Houston’s Clyde Drexler and Cynthia Cooper won that exciting two-ball thing. And Charles Barkley won the ‘throw a guy through a plate glass window’ contest.” 
  9. Michael Jordan may retire after this season. It’s terrible news for Bulls fans, but it is terrific news for golf hustlers.”
  10. Jordan is very serious about leaving. In fact, he’s already called the Hall of Fame to make sure that his plaque bears his basketball nickname, Air Jordan, and not his baseball nickname, Señor Crappy.”
  11. “How about them Winter Olympics? They’re finally underway so we’ve got a lot of great stuff to look forward to in the next two weeks like hockey and, uh… Well, just hockey really.”
  12. “Speed skating. My goodness, could the outfits they wear be any tighter? Holy Lord, there was an East German woman. I swear you could see the outline of her entire penis.” 
  13. “(Tiger Woods) is up for Golfer of the Year, and you know, I feel sorry for the other two guys nominated for Golfer of the Year. Can you see these guys getting ready? Like, ‘Hey honey, have you seen my tuxedo? No, no, not the good one. The one I wear when I’m going to get my ass kicked.’” 
  14. Boomer Esiason, of course, replaces Frank Gifford on Monday Night Football next season. Frank told reporters that this will allow him to spend more time with his wife and children. Then he broke down and cried for 45 minutes.”
  15. “There’s Charles Woodson. How about that? What a season he had. He became the first defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy. Congratulations Charles, that is something that no one can ever take away from you. Unless you kill your wife and a waiter, in which case all bets are off.” 

You really didn’t think Norm would get through the whole thing without an O.J. Simpson joke, did you? 

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