E! Online Chat
JUNE 3, 1999 (E! ONLINE)
He wowed us on Saturday Night Live, but he was "too much" for NBC. So, he took his Dirty Work to the big screen. And this summer, he gets nasty for CBS as Howard's sidekick on the King of All Media's late-night venture.
But first, no-holds-barred comedian Norm Macdonald barreled into E! Online for a one on one with you. As usual, you got his unique brand of charming vulgarity, as he tackled the hard questions. Read on for his wry but hilarious take.
From baddog: Are you single?
No. Just no, I guess.
From smartguy: You and Don Ohlmeyer in a ring. How many rounds? By decision? By KO? What
I think he would beat me up. He doesn't like me, but I don't have any problem
From craig01: Will you be doing lots of jokes about O.J. and dead
prostitutes on the Howard Stern show?
I don't plan anything. I just answer whatever question Howard asks me.
From echo2: How did you get to be so funny? What helped you to learn to have such a
good sense of humor? Did you write the scripts yourself at
Yeah, I wrote most of the stuff I did on SNL. You could write for yourself on that show, and that's always better. I always liked Bugs Bunny. I always thought that was the best-written show and had the funniest performers.
From jenna: What Canadian comedians, if any, influenced you growing up? Did you grow up
watching Wayne and Shuster?
Yes, when I was a young boy, I watched that and The Beachcombers. I'm
also very good friends with Shuster's son. They are Canadian legends.
From smartguy: How have the recent deaths Chris Farley and Phil Hartman affected the way you
look at your life?
[Long pause.] No. No, it hasn't. It's just made me very sad.
From macmac: What was your favorite character and skit from SNL?
One time, I did a sketch and got absolutely no laughs at all, but it was my
favorite. I played Andy Rooney. I did different letters I got from people
around the country. You know, here's one from Nebraska and here's one from a
place called Kansas City. I did about 40 of those. It was just that Andy
Rooney uses too many examples.
From mope: If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be?
Well, first of all, I am not a fruit. But if I were, I think I would be one of
those poison ones that no one wants to eat. One that your parents tell you not
to eat, so you get to live on the tree and hang out.
From jeff2: Are you afraid of O.J.?
O.J. Simpson or O.J. Mcduffy? Yes, I am afraid of O.J. Simpson, but I think he's rehabilitating, because I saw on the TV he now stabs bananas so that's not that scary. I sure wouldn't want to play football with him, though.
From jerome_kersey: What do you think about Don Ohlmeyer? Do you think he's a jerk-off or a nice guy?
I don't know him. I've only met him once, and he seemed nice when he talked to
me. But sometimes people aren't what they seem, I guess.
From brian: Hey Norm, were you a popular stud in high school or just a loner who knew
that someday you would get back at everyone through fame and success?
I was not in high school for very long. I hung out with guys who would make
fun of the popular guys. No, I never thought I would amount to anything,
because I had no skills.
From candyapple: O.J. guilty? Yes or no?
No. Not guilty. Only guilty of being the best running back ever. If that's a
crime, I'll eat Don Ohlmeyer's hat.
From Paula_D'Annibale: Do you plan to reduce yourself to shock-jock tactics?
Yes. I hadn't planned it before this question, but yes.
From Jodi_Bauld: How long will it be until your comedy CD is released?
My comedy CD will be released, hopefully, by the end of the summer. It's very
dirty. I've decided to resort to shock-jock tactics.
From tuuk: Bulls or Jazz?
I say Bulls in six. Actually, Bulls in three.
From baby: What do you do in your spare time?
I watch a lot of TV. I like all TV equally.
From emilyjane: What type of music do you listen to?
I listen to country and western music--George Jones, Billy Joe Shaver.
From the_fake_news: Donna D'Errico sucker-jabbed you on MTV yesterday. What was that all about?
I don't know what sucker-jabbed means, but I don't think so. I'm sure it was
all meant in fun.
From James_Fritz_from: What are your thoughts on the loss of Geri Whatever from the Spice Girls? You
know, the slutty one.
I think the group will survive. They should get an old lady.
That's right, you heard me--Old Spice.
From robredwood: Did you enjoy playing Bob Dole? If so, why?
Yes, I did enjoy playing him, because all the impressions I did on the show were people I loved. He's a great man, and it was fun to play him on the show.
Everybody I did on the show, I did so I could meet them.
From Jason_Holmes_from: You are absolutely hilarious, and I will miss you on SNL. What, if any,
projects do you have in the near future with any of your fellow SNL alumni?
I'm doing Dirty Work, which comes out June 12. And Chris Farley is in that. It was great to work with him again. He's the funniest guy in the world.
From edsmith68: Where did you get the idea for Dirty Work?
Well, before I got into show business, I had a string of very bad jobs. I was
never good at anything except getting back at bosses who screwed me over. I
always thought it would be cool to have a revenge business.
From craig01: Who came up with the idea of dead prostitutes for the movie?
Well, the idea of dead prostitutes is, of course, an age-old idea, but we've made it contemporary by making them crack whores.
From moderndayromeo: Will you be taking any serious movie roles in the future to display your
dramatic acting skills?
I will never do a serious movie role ever. I don't like serious movies. I
don't understand the point of them.
From hesby: Care to explain the weird Wolf/Hollywood comment you made on last night's
Letterman? It was eerily unfunny, and Dave squirmed a bit...
This was a joke I made about Fred Wolf, the cowriter on the film. He lives
in Hollywood, and I said, "He must be comfortable out there, because Hollywood
has a lot of wolfs."
From edgegirl: Have phone sex with me!
The last time I had phone sex, I got an ear infection.
From largo: If you were president, what would be your first executive decision?
Um, I think the first thing I'd do is get our boys out of Vietnam.
From macmac: What was the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
One time, a cow chased me. I was in this field, and I was doing some stand-up
comedy. And this cow just started chasing me, and he wouldn't stop. I thought
they were docile creatures, but apparently, they have a temper.
From shark11: Is it true that you keep jars of urine next to your bed?
No, that is untrue. That is a joke.
From the_fake_news: On MTV, you warned a girl about vicious cycles in relationships, joking that
they can lead to "murder-suicide." Do you regret saying that?
No, that was before Phil Hartman. I suppose I regret that I couldn't see into
the future. But I'm working on that.
From laughlady2: You have some devoted, die-hard fans out here, and you even have a great fansite on the Web. We'd love to send fan mail. Do we mail it to Brad Grey's office, or can we wait a few months and mail it to CBS c/o Howard
You can send it to Adam Venit at the Endeavor Agency in Beverly Hills. Thanks
for being my fan.
From sirleoric: Norm, who exactly are you?
I am Norm Macdonald.
From joco: What is it like working with Roseanne?
Well, I loved it. I thought Roseanne was the funniest woman ever, and it
was great to work with her because she had such a great sense of humor. She's
a good friend.
From normlover: What do you think about NBC not playing the previews for Dirty Work?
Well, I wish it weren't so. I don't really understand it. No one has really
explained it to me, but I find it very depressing. Maybe that was Don's reason
to do it. If so, he succeeded in depressing me.
From hesby: How much did you improvise your role in Billy Madison? You were hilarious.
Well, Adam Sandler is a very good friend of mine, and he was kind enough to put
me in that movie. He's a great writer, and he knows me very well, so I didn't
improvise that much.
From robredwood: Did you play an instrument as a kid?
Yeah, I played the recorder. It's like a flute, but it's a recorder. It
doesn't record anything.
From baldo_tm: Will the tape recorder/note-to-self concept be incorporated into every
movie that you do in the future, as I see it was in Dirty Work?
Yes, it will. No, I don't know yet, but that's a good idea. It would definitely
From craig01: Do you think Jordan will be back next year?
If the Bulls win, he'll be back.
From jeff2: Have you ever gone drinking with Hank, the Angry Dwarf?
No. I've never met Hank, but I would love to meet him one day.
From seventhart: Who's cooler: Stern or Letterman? C'mon and answer. Get some cojones!
They're both the coolest guys I've ever seen on television. That is an
impossible question to answer. They both have my greatest possible respect.
They're the funniest guys there are.
From arjs: Any scoop on Howard's new show?
No, I know nothing about it. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it. I'm not going to be a regular on the show. I wouldn't do a regular role
against SNL, out of loyalty to Lorne Michaels, and the writers and performers on the show who are my friends.
From connieq: So, do you plan to screw Don Ohlmeyer over? How?
No, as Nixon said, "People might hate you, but you can't hate them, because you
From normlover: What's the strangest job you've ever had?
I was a garbage man, which sounds like a lot of fun, but it's very difficult, and you smell like garbage all the time. You work really hard all day, and then you go to the dump, which is like a burning hell, and you never find anything good there. It's a very surreal place.
From jaba: Do you think Dirty Work will do better than Godzilla at the box office??
Yes, it will. But we're doing a very interesting marketing thing--we're
charging $1 million per ticket. If we get 300 dumb, rich guys to come, we'll do
From robredwood: What do you think of Colin Quinn?
Well, I haven't watched the show since I left, but when I did "Weekend Update," I also asked him to do commentary, because he's very funny.
From julianna: If you could be stuck on a desert island with only one person, who would that
Well, I suppose this is kind of what everybody gives--Chi-Chi Rodriguez. I love
golf. I have a six handicap.
From bilzebub: After making Dirty Work, would you rather stay working in movies or go back to
I would most like to do television. That's my favorite thing. So, I'll probably
return to that. I don't just want to be on someone's show. I want to do my own
thing that I write and perform.
From moderndayromeo: Do you like The Simpsons?
I love The Simpsons. Homer is my favorite! I like when you get to hear Homer thinking.
From imalily: What did your boss say after you said "fuck," on live television?
On "Weekend Update," I said, "Fuck." You know, they should tell you that you
can't say these things. After that, Lorne Michaels told me, "You can't say
fuck on television." So I didn't say it again.
From yanni45: What's the funniest movie you've ever seen?
Maybe Doctor Strangelove...or maybe The Pink Panther.
From turquoise: How did you get started at SNL?
I wrote for the show. The show is very good for writers, because Lorne's idea
is always to put the funniest people in the room on TV, whether it's a writer
or a performer. I auditioned with a stand-up routine.
From the_fake_news: Have you settled on a title for your comedy album?
Yes, I think it's gonna be Norm's Dirty, Dirty, Dirty Comedy Album.
From xquix: When is your birthday?
The 17th of October of 1963.
From normlover: Do you have a middle name?
Yes, I do. Gene.
From julianna: Who is your idol?
Bugs Bunny. I always thought he was the funniest guy. But, of course, he's a
From the_fake_news: Rumors spread quickly on the Internet. The only scandalous thing I've heard
concerning you was a young woman who claimed she had a phone-sex affair with
you. Any truth to that?
No, I've never had phone sex in my life. That ear-infection thing was a joke.
From dafne: Hey, Norm, how do we know this is really you?
I don't know. I guess you don't. How do I know this is you?
From the_fake_news: Have you visited any of your fan pages on the Internet?
No, I don't know how to use a computer, but sometimes people will give me
pieces of paper that are printouts from a computer. As soon as I learn, I'll
go see my fan sites.
From a_kangaroo: Who was your favorite person to work with?
My favorite person to work with was always Chris Farley because he was the
funniest guy in the world. We did this thing called Gay Stripper theater. Chris
played a father who takes over for his gay stripper son who can't show up [to a gig] and does his best to be sexy.
From jeff2: Is Bob Saget funny?
Actually, he is. The reason he directed Dirty Work is that I had seen him do
stand-up when I was a young boy, and he was very dark and edgy. Then, he did all
this awful TV. When I was looking for a director, I thought he'd be
perfect. He actually got an Academy Award for a short film he made when he
was in film school.
From normkicksass: What is the worst state in the U.S.?
I guess it would be Hawaii, because it's too beautiful, so when you're there, you look ugly.
From radioactive_man: What do you think of Martha Stewart?
I think she's very sexy--and I think she can tell you how to make a
beautiful vase out of old chicken bones, and that's nice.
From olivepaste: Did you enjoy working on The Larry Sanders Show?
Oh yeah. That was great. I got to say cock, and that was hilarious. Getting to
work with Garry was great because he's a genius.
From hapiee: Do you have any pets?
No, no, I don't have any pets at all. My friend lent me his cat, but it had a
heart attack. I didn't even know cats could do that. I had to take him to the
hospital. (They have these hospitals just for animals.) But he didn't pull
through. The good thing is that it was only a cat.
From moderndayromeo: Boxers or briefs?
Some days I wear boxers, and some days I wear briefs. It's a very complicated
From bluesaphire: Do you know Leonardo DiCaprio?
Yes, Leonardo DiCaprio and I are very good friends. I've never met him. I've
only seen him in movies, but we're sort of good friends.
From giant1117: When will your new show be on CBS?
The only function I'll ever have on The Howard Stern Show is as a
guest. I'll never be a regular on the show.
From pike134: Norm, who's your favorite historical figure?
I guess it would be that Jesus Christ guy because, without him, we'd have to go
to hell and burn forever.
From dafne: What is the meaning of life?
It's all bullshit.
From alhazred: Norm, how do you decide which questions to answer, or are they screened by
someone? (Damn, maybe you won't even see this. Damn.)
I would have answered you, but your lack of trust has denied you the opportunity, and I think you should learn a lesson from that.
From laughlady2: What's next for you after this chat session? Getting psyched up for Regis tomorrow? I hear he's pretty wild.
After this, I have to get some sleep so I can talk to Regis tomorrow. I like
him. And Kathie Lee, I'd like to...I think she's very sexy.
From spazpop: Were you a little under the weather at the MTV Jersey Beach House thing?
Yes, they tape, like, five hours in one day in the hot sun, and I'm not a beach
guy, so I just got a little tired. I don't like beaches. It's just a bunch of
sand. It's like the desert.
From megax: What was it like working with Phil Hartman?
Phil was obviously the best sketch player that show ever had--him and Dan
Aykroyd. When I was working with him, I was a writer on the show. He was a joy
to work with because he made everything much funnier, so my stuff wouldn't
have to be that good. And he was so happy, so nice to be around.
From yanni45: What's the biggest difference between Canada and the U.S.?
Well, I guess the biggest difference is that, for some reason, the shoes in
Canada are horrible. It's an age-old thing. They make the shoes from some kind
of odd leather that comes from Jersey cows--they think that's superior. I've
done some investigation, but I've only scratched the surface.
From emilyjane: When you were on SNL, who were your favorite host and musical guest to work with?
My favorite host was Alec Baldwin. He was the funniest host I worked with. He
should do comedy. He never does comedy movies. He's a very funny guy and a
great man. My favorite musical guest was Dwight Yoakam.
From olivepaste: Where's the best place to get pizza in Manhattan?
Um, Mariella's at 56th and 8th.
From chupacabras: Where do you come down on this Carol Channing thing?
I come down on the side of Carol Channing.
From chupacabras: Will there be peace in the Middle East?
No, there never will be, but there will be war in the Midwest.
From alhazred: Do you view fame as a positive or negative thing? Or does it fluctuate in its
Well, mostly fame is talking to people you don't know on the street, and it
takes you a long time to get down the street, but it's kind of fun. It's
especially fun if the person is not a psychotic person who follows you.
From carmitch: If NBC ever asked you back to do a series, would you do it?
Yeah, certainly. I love NBC.
Thanks for asking me questions and try to get a good night's sleep. God bless you all. And go see Dirty Work on June 12th. Also, I'll be on Stern next week.
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