Mark Normand Breaks NDA, Sort of Explains Comedy Club Stunt
Mark Normand broke the shh-don’t-tell agreement around his viral comedy club moment on the Legion of Skanks podcast yesterday, a risky legal maneuver until you realize that he’s about as ignorant about the whole thing as the rest of us.
Cracked has devoted plenty of digital ink to the stunt, in which a jittery guy jumps on stage in the middle of a Normand stand-up set only to be dragged off by security. It didn’t take long before New York Comedy Club confirmed that the interruption was a planned bit by the show’s producers and since “nobody was harmed or injured,” let’s move on. After a few more days passed, the hoax was revealed to be part of a viral campaign for the Mr. & Mrs. Smith reboot.
But the more answers we get about the prank, the more questions the whole mess seems to raise — like “How exactly did Mark Normand's interrupted set promote Mr. & Mrs Smith?” The Legion of Skanks hosts tried to pry some inside skinny from Normand and it didn’t take much beyond simply asking, “Can you talk about it?”
“I signed an NDA but here's what happened,” Normand confided. “Basically, (the producers) set up a show and they're like, ‘You do a 45-minute set and something crazy's gonna happen. We're not gonna tell you what.’ And I was like, ‘All right, I'll do a set.’ And then a guy walked on stage and I riffed on it. And that was it.”
That was it? That’s the part we already knew, Normand! Surely you have more to share. The Legion of Skanks pressed for more deets.
“I knew something, but they didn't tell me what,” Normand said. “I figured it'd be like a crowd work thing.”
Okay, Mark, but why?
“They're trying to go viral and build buzz for an internet company. HiHi.” (Again, we knew this.) “Yeah, they killed it,” Normand said before confirming another fact we knew — it was all to promote Donald Glover’s show.
“They built some buzz, but it was all horseshit,” argued one of the hosts in the most revealing moment of the podcast. Still, the Legion of Skanks did get Normand to breach his NDA contract and that has to count for something, right? High fives for everyone!
“I cannot tell a lie,” Normand promised, although technically that’s just what the comic was doing on stage that night. “Everybody's like, was this a Chappelle thing? Was this a Chris Rock slap? I was like, it's more of a Jesse Smollett.”
The most puzzling part of the interview was the conclusion of Normand’s confession: “You never go viral for what you think you're gonna go viral for.” Dude, you went viral for exactly the reason you thought you'd go viral for — that was the point! The hoax worked, at least as far as making Normand more of a household name, but it doesn’t sound like the comic has enjoyed his moment in the spotlight. “I was like, ‘Oh, it'll be fun and funny.’ But it wasn't,” he said. “It was more like spooky.”