Everyone thinks Norm Macdonald is crazy. Well, they’re right, and thank God for that. Because in these bizarre modern times, his rascality offers us a breakthrough into a more sane world.
On Wednesday, NBC’s The Tonight Show canceled an appearance by Macdonald just as the classic late night talk show guest was getting makeup done. The decision was made in haste by blubbering senior producers, who were brought to tears by Macdonald’s un-PC (read: true) comments about the #MeToo hysteria in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter hours earlier.
Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon confirmed the weeping, Macdonald told the Howard Stern Show later in the day.
“[Fallon] was very broken up about it. He said, ‘I don’t know what to do. It’s just that I have so much pressure, people are crying. Senior producers are crying,’” Macdonald said. “I was like good Lord, bring them in and let me talk to them, I don’t want to make people cry.”
Macdonald, at 58, is still considered a pioneer in comedy, but he isn’t the first person to mildly criticize the #MeToo naggings of gazillionth-wave feminists. All he said was that he was “happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a bit.”
“It used to be, ‘One hundred women can’t be lying.’ And then it became, ‘One woman can’t lie.’ And that became, ‘I believe all women.’ And then you’re like, ‘What?’ Like, that Chris Hardwick guy I really thought got the blunt end of the stick there,” Macdonald told THR.
Hardwick’s ex-girlfriend accused him of sexual assault in an online essay this summer, but then she refused to cooperate with any investigation against him when he denied the allegations.
That is how Macdonald caused sobbing at NBC. But again, Macdonald’s take isn’t original or even beyond some mainstream op-eds. It’s likely many were triggered that he was “happy,” an unapproved emotion in this time of resistance.
Macdonald also stood up for his longtime friends, Roseanne and Louis CK. He not only lamented their being blacklisted, but he also reached out to both to try to assuage the mercilessness with which they continue to be treated. He had the two talk out their troubles in private by phone.
“I feel bad that Roseanne got fired,” a heartfelt Macdonald told THR, regarding her sitcom getting canned over a tweet. “I think that we have to be more forgiving of people. I’ve spoken to Roseanne many times, and she’s always been in tears, and she’s paying a mighty penance for whatever transgression you might think she did.”
“The model used to be: admit wrongdoing, show complete contrition and then we give you a second chance. Now it’s admit wrongdoing and you’re finished. And so the only way to survive is to deny, deny, deny. That’s not healthy — that there is no forgiveness. I do think that at some point it will end with a completely innocent person of prominence sticking a gun in his head and ending it,” Macdonald said.
Louis CK has only recently returned to stand-up comedy, performing a surprise show at the Comedy Cellar in New York City, a regular spot for him. But a few women in the audience felt disgusted at the overwhelming applause he received. Louis, after all, has admitted to and apologized for masturbating in front of women after asking their permission to take out his penis. Why, he ought to be working at a Trader Joe’s, or better yet, just die, right? In a world where forgiveness is deemed insensitive, yes, of course.
“If some women were upset, the Comedy Cellar should give them their money back and $200 each,” Macdonald told USA Today. “I think they could get through the trauma if they were paid $200 and could buy some nice shoes.”
Macdonald is right on, but then again, he knows he can’t afford to pay $200 to every person he traumatizes with truth. So, he tweeted out an unnecessary apology, though one which was necessarily meaningless.
“Roseanne and Louis have both been very good friends of mine for many years. They both made terrible mistakes and I would never defend their actions. If my words sounded like I was minimizing the pain that their victims feel to this day, I am deeply sorry,” he wrote.
Don’t expect Macdonald to continue apologizing, however. When that ol’ chunk of coal is told what not to say, he abides only to let the PC rules devour themselves.
He told Howard Stern on Wednesday, “You’d have to have Down syndrome to not feel sorry” for sexual assault victims.
For all you pearl clutchers out there, “Down syndrome” serves as his placeholder for the r-word. And it’s safe to say Macdonald’s new Netflix show won’t get canceled over all this news, as the comedian told Stern that Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos knows he’s “a good person.”
So, be sure to check out Norm Macdonald Has a Show, which premieres on Netflix this Friday. My hunch is it won’t cross the same boundaries of crudeness his video podcast did, but instead, viewers can expect an even better ride, one that gives them what this PC-world can’t: happiness.