Norm Macdonald, Mythologist Joseph Campbell, Netflix discussed on Fresh Air

Fresh Air


When I heard about the circumstances surrounding Netflix's Norm Macdonald, nothing special. I immediately thought about unforgettable TV appearances I had seen by people who were aware that their deaths might be imminent. Mythologist Joseph Campbell, talking to Bill Moyers, once advised people to follow their bliss. British TV writer Dennis Potter told people to see the present tense. And singer songwriter Warren Zevon, appearing on David Letterman's talk show shortly before his death, encouraged people to enjoy every sandwich. So I wondered, what sort of advice and wisdom would Norm Macdonald bring to what might be and, in fact, was his final comedy routine. As it turns out, not much. But that's by no means a complaint. We get one last dose of norm. And he does touch on a variety of topics from politics and living wills to masturbation and doctors. Yet he never addresses his condition or situation directly. The special was shot with McDonald's seated at the kitchen counter in the apartment of his neighbor and longtime production partner, Lori Jo hoekstra. Two cameras were used, both capturing the comedian in close up, one hit on, one from the side. And without notes or an audience, he just talks. Delivering the in progress version of the next Netflix stand up special, he was working on. The on screen introduction to the special explains that Norm Macdonald had the idea to record it because he quote didn't want to leave anything on the table in case things went south. So he just talks and talks. And occasionally, even when talking about doctors, he strikes a vein of comedy gold. I'm a doctor. I am be hitting your knee with a hammer now. That's an oddest one to me of all the time. We haven't got past that. That's like a cartoon from the 1950s. Guy pulls out a hammer, hits your knee with it and then you go, ah, my knee. Oh my God, that hurts. And then the guy writes that excellent..

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