The New York Post
MAY 1, 1998 -- BY RICHARD JOHNSON with JEANE MACINTOSH and SEAN GANNON
EDITOR'S NOTE: It should be noted that this item appeared in a gossip column. This is in no way a "news" story.
College comedy gig isn't so funny
The lesson to be learned from Norm Macdonald's disastrous appearance last weekend at a college alumni reunion in Connecticut: Cocktails and comedy don't mix.
The former Saturday Night Live star was hired to do a monologue at Quinnipiac College in Hamden as part of the school's alumni weekend festivities.
Nearly 2,000 people packed into Quinnipiac's Alumni Hall to hear the ousted "Weekend Update" anchor do his schtick. That much is clear. But there are two versions of what happened next.
A member of the audience reports Macdonald was so inebriated that once he gained the stage, he could barely speak, much less make coherent jokes. According to the source, it wasn't long before members of the audience got so disgruntled they started booing.
Our witness says this prompted Macdonald to sneer, "Bleep you, bleep your school, and bleep all your friends! And you know what, if I keep my fat ass up here for another five minutes, you guys have to pay me. So let's talk about the weather."
"It was chaos," says the source. "He had to be helped off the stage. I'm so angry. These kids were really looking forward to this, they waited two months, and he was so foul “ not one joke."
But Macdonald says it was the kids themselves who'd had too much to drink.
"So I go to this gig, wherever the bleep it was," he told PAGE SIX's Jared Paul Stern, "and the entire audience was drunk. They'd obviously been in the beer tent all day. I got on stage, and right away I noticed something was wrong; there were about 40 security guards and 10 cops, which doesn't usually happen at a comedy gig."
Macdonald says he soon realized why the muscle was needed. "They were all screaming, talking to each other and throwing things. I told a few jokes, they started screaming and throwing things at me. I didn't want to leave before the 45 minutes were up so that they couldn't use that as an excuse not to pay me; they swore at me, so I swore back at them. Then I got off and they didn't want to pay me."
He was booked for an appearance the following day at St. Bonaventure College in Olean, NY, but had to cancel. "I was so traumatized, I couldn't do it," he says. "I'll never perform for drunk people again as long as I live."
According to a rep for Quinnipiac, "Macdonald was scheduled to appear, but he was unable to continue with his performance, and he left." Macdonald's rep says they are trying to resolve the payment issue.
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