Episode 2: Insider Report
FEBRUARY 5, 1999 -- BY RICHARD HOFFMAN
"Norm Dates a Client"
I had the opportunity to go to the taping of the second episode of "The Norm
Show," and thought you may want to know what's up -- be afraid, however -- this
We showed up, did the free parking thing, got carted to the studio, were
forced to put up with an actor/comedian/circus performer for a little bit...but
enough about my trip -- you want to read about the show:
Mr. Curtis (the boss) walks in at the beginning and describes everyone in the
office (for the sake of those who unforgivably missed the pilot), even
regrettably introducing Norm to some staff members. The audience is shown that
Laurie gets stuck with a patient who REALLY stinks...like, she calls on the
phone from another room to talk to him the first time...
Norm, on the other hand, is waiting for his pathologically shy patient and
decides to take an early lunch, only to be stopped at the door by his patient,
who (of course) talks very quietly. Norm offers to take him to lunch, but not
before embarrassing him in front of the office [To the office] "Could
everybody please be quiet? This guy's incredibly shy and I can't hear a damn
word he's saying."
The next scene takes place in the bar with Norm and the shy guy. Norm tries
hooking the guy up with a girl, but she takes an interest in Norm instead, so
Norm forgets the guy for awhile. This is where Norm starts dating the girl
Norm tells Danny about Diane, Laurie finds out her client is afraid of water.
Norm finds out that Diane is a client of Laurie's (DIANE: "You didn't tell me
you were a social worker." NORM: "You didn't tell me you were in need of state
help.") Since social workers can't date clients, Norm is in trouble, but
Laurie doesn't know about it, so Norm is ok so far...
Norm and Diane end up in the conference room together...Norm tries to break it
off, since if they get caught dating each other, Norm will get fired and go to
jail. Diane then gets turned on because she's "never done anything this
dangerous before" and they end up having sex...
Mr. Curtis comes in and informs everyone that the cleaning crew found, uh,
evidence, so the hunt is on...Diane comes in as Curtis leaves and Norm is
REALLY nervous. Laurie invites Norm to sit in on the session with
Diane...which makes for awkward conversation...Laurie ends up finding
out...Diane storms out...
Meanwhile, Danny takes the stinky guy to the YMCA and proceeds to burn him with
Back in Norm's apartment, Laurie is telling Diane's story, how she suffers from
an Olive Oyl-complex, where she dates guys to get her boyfriend jealous, then
calls him and invites him over, where the boyfriend promptly beats the snot out
of him (in this case Norm.) Norm's response to the Popeye syndrome? "I love that
guy that always wants a hamburger. What's his name again?"...Diane comes over,
Laurie leaves. Diane apologizes for the fight and Norm tells Diane what Laurie
said. To "prove that isn't true," Diane calls her "ex-boyfriend"...leading to
her telling him Norm's address. Norm takes off...
The last scene shows Norm dejectedly telling Danny what the boyfriend did to
his apartment, and Laurie just "hopes he learned something". Norm says, "Yeah,
I'm not going to have sex with clients anymore. I'm not even gonna listen to
their stupid problems anymore." Just before the credits roll, the audience is
shown a picture of the shy guy and Diane in the bar, and she's at it again...
The only bad part about the night was the taping went an hour over schedule*,
which made even the comedian funny after awhile...we didn't get back home until
almost one, but it was totally worth it. I recommend calling up Audiences
Unlimited and going to a taping FOR FREE. Just make sure you eat before you go
* ADDED 2/14: The reason for the long TV taping is this: there were times where they wouldn't
be taping for like ten minutes at a time, probably doing re-writes and stuff.
Also, Norm is HILARIOUS, but he just can't act. He'll even tell you that
himself, I believe. I remember during the first scene of the episode, they did
one take, then went back to "take it from the top." Norm was supposed to be
sitting in a chair in the foreground, then stand up and say a line later on in
the scene. However, as soon as the director said "action," Norm walked in from
the back saying, "Oh, I suppose I should be in this chair now..." It was GREAT.
It reminded me of a night at SNL ("I think I'll use THIS camera over
here...(camera angle changes)...Now, you should probably move the cue cards over
Also, I forgot to tell you before: at one point in the night, Norm came up
to the audience, wanting to tell a joke. Here it was: There were these two
midgets and they, like, went to Las Vegas to go find some prostitutes, since,
y'know, midgets don't, uh, get any very much. So they find these two prostitutes
and take them to a hotel and get ajoining rooms. Well, one midget worked the
prostitute for a couple hours, but was getting mad, 'cuz, like, from the other
room he kept hearing "One, Two, Three, HEYA,...One, Two, Three, HEYA...One, Two,
Three, HEYA." He just wasn't, uh, performing the way he wanted to, so he sent
the prostitute away. He couldn't sleep, though, since he kept hearing "One, Two,
Three, HEYA,...One, Two, Three, HEYA...One, Two, Three, HEYA." Finally, the
morning came and the other midget came in the room and asked, "Well--how was
it?". The midget who had been hearing all the noise grumbled, "Not too good...I
just couldn't perform last night...but I heard YOU...you must've had a great
time." His friend replied, "What, are you kidding? I was trying to get up on
the bed all night long!"