Norm Macdonald isn’t for everyone. His laconic speech, his super-dry delivery, and his constant exclamations of “holy crow” are very much of a love or hate variety. I happen to love Norm and was very much looking forward to reading his fake memoir.
And I want to be able to tell you that I loved it.
But I didn’t. And I’m sad about it.
Bunnybean gave this book to Mr Scoots for Christmas and he loved it. HE LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. We heard him laughing all over the house at all hours. I couldn’t wait to read it. I figured I was in for a few laughs.
Sadly, the only parts of this book that made me laugh were the jokes, many of which I had heard a million times. The jokes never get old for me, and I could listen to Norm tell them over and over and not get tired of them.
But the book was more than jokes. It was a fake story filled with fake memories and a pretend race to get the book published so Norm’s gambling debts can be settled without him having to commit suicide.
Oh, did I mention that this book is actually quite dark? Because it is. And while the tone might have worked if I had decided to listen to Norm tell me the story on Audible, it just didn’t work as written.
The story goes a little something like this:
Norm needs money because of his terrible gambling addiction (which, as far as I can tell, is accurate). He signs a book deal and immediately takes off for Vegas with his trusty sidekick, Adam Eget (his trusty sidekick from Norm Macdonald Live) and they get into a slew of trouble. Norm is constantly high on morphine, unable to make logical decisions, constantly about to die. The chapters alternate between this faux reality and Norm’s best “memories” for the book.
Yes, we get to hear about Norm working with his heroes, like Rodney Dangerfield, Lorne Michaels, and Don Rickles, but the way that Norm tells the stories just isn’t funny. I wish it had been a little bit more truthful and a little less fictionalized. I sort of get what Norm was going for here, and that most celebrity memoirs are full of crap anyways, so why not make this one 100% full of crap…I just wanted it to be funnier, or at least filled with something resembling real life.
I didn’t hate the book. It made me smile a few times. It was filled with Norm’s classic non-sequiters, like when he talked about our judicial system and said, “If I’d learned anything from watching Matlock, it was this: Juries hate Hitler” or when he talked about his love for Archie comics and said, “That Jughead is a dirty, thieving sonofabitch, but he sure does make me laugh.”
There is also an entire chapter that is solely a list of Norm’s greatest Weekend Update jokes, and a chapter about the infamous Moth Joke.
I still love Norm, and I would read another book by him if he chose to write one. Until then, I’ll continue to watch Norm Macdonald Live or his clips on youtube.