The Dry Wit of Norm Macdonald

Do you remember the golden age of Saturday Night Live? That wonderful late 80’s to 90’s period where the late night show truly blossomed under the comedic talents of Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, and many talented others. It’s easy to forget the soft-spoken and often extremely dry Norm Macdonald working right alongside these pillars of outlandish and boundary pushing comedy. His most famous work on the show was anchoring the Weekend Update parody news segment. That is until 1997 when he was fired from the segment on the insistence of NBC West Coast Executive Don Ohlmeyer, who personally disliked Macdonald’s style calling himĀ “not funny.”

Norm Macdonald has always been a much bigger hitter in the world of stand up. In fact, Comedy Central named him #83 on their 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time list. His standup seems to be all about taking the smallest joke possible and committing to it as hard as he can. Recently he went on Conan and demonstrated the genius of this style. Take a look.

The sheer discipline required to stick with that bit is really what sells it. I could watch this video over and over.


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