Episode 23: Insider Report
DECEMBER 10, 1999 -- BY CHRISTOPHER CLEARY
"Norm vs. the Evil Twin"
This was my second Norm taping (the previous one being episode 2). I was surprised to see that they had the same stand-up working the crowd between the scenes as they did when I went previously. He was better the first time, but told almost the exact same jokes. Excellent juggler, he is, but this time around I had to request the he juggle with a ladder on his face (last time he just did it). The audience did not fill up as quickly this time and we got off to sort of a late start. My guess is that they filled Norm's audience with people who didn't make it into the shows that they really wanted to see (naturally, they got to see a much more quality show). Lots of Marines in the audience and when the stand-up talked to them they did not sound too bright and the guy in charge of them was an obnoxious little squirt but i digress... I only mention the Marines because of the Nikki Cox fans out there. What does she have to do with them? Basically, there was a dance contest between a Marine and two girls and Nikki voted for the Marine by only clapping for him. And let's see, something else before I talk about the show itself... ah, yes, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees was watching from the set area.
So the show starts, Norm naturally screws up his first line and once they continue, we find out the Laurie has an evil twin sister. The twin belittles Laurie and then Laurie, in an odd attempt to save face, says that Norm is her boyfriend (didn't I see this somewhere else). Anyway, Norm doesn't know that she told her this. Norm finds the twin attractive and Danny warns Norm not to do anything stupid, but the two of them come to the conclusion that Norm always does something stupid and this wouldn't be any different. By the way, I am just summarizing my summary of the show.
It's interesting to watch Norm because with every take he says his lines differently. Partly because he probably smoked a lot of pot with Timmy Meadows and partly because he is probably trying to make the thing funnier. Also, I was hoping that he would come into the audience and tell us a joke like he did when I saw the show before but he didn't. (Last time he told the joke about the two drunk midgets with adjoining hotel rooms and the hookers. I think he was just testing it out on us before he tried it on Conan). Back to the show...
So then taylor agrees to a date with Danny and then Danny turns three consecutive cartwheels. Yes, you read it right. So they have a nice time up until the point when a guy recognizes Taylor from her hooker days. Danny then knocks out the dude to save Taylor from further embarrassment. The date ends at Taylor's door when she lays a wallop of a kiss on Danny. The date scene is the only scene in which Artie appears. He's got a few good zingers. I find him to be more funny like that. He goes in -- wham! bam! -- and then he's gone.
Meanwhile, Norm is screwing with his boss with a remote control chair and evil twin is helping him. Evil twin tricks Norm into sleeping with her in order for her to get at Laurie (I know I saw that somewhere before). Laurie eventually finds out and then she and Norm have a talk about them both having thought about having sex with each other and then in the end they... well, you'll just have to see. But you, like me and everyone else in the audience, will guess the ending before it happens, but they still pull it off. You'll see.
Anything else? Denby is only in the first half of the show. I tell you what sucked. The first half of the show was ok, but a good portion of the second half took place in the bar which is hard to see due to it's location and in laurie's apartment, which was impossible to see. That was a major bummer.
All in all it was a funny show. How funny? Well, my wife liked it, that's how funny. For the season, I'll rank it just below Danny dad's death episode. The show makes much more sense than my confused and jumbled writings, I assure you.