Bob & Brian
EDITOR'S NOTE: "Bob & Brian" are on a Milwaukee radio station known as "The Lazer" (WLZR 103 FM). Here we have another telephone interview Norm did in promotion of "Dirty Work" (which opened the same day.) Ah, the wacky world of morning zoo, hearing guys like Bob Madden and Brian Nelson really makes you appreciate the genius of Howard Stern. As you listen to these clips, note the over-zealous laughter of Bob and Brian -- even Norm wonders aloud, "What?!" during one of their fevered belly laughs (ESPY awards clip.) Enjoy these excerpts:
JUNE 12, 1998 (WLZR)
Sorry About O.J.
B&B: A lot of OJ stories there. A lot of making fun of OJ.
B&B1: Are you sorry for that now?
B&B2: Is that what did it?
NORM: Yeah, yes I am sorry. Because I actually sometimes would think, like when I was doing the jokes, I'd go: "What if this guy actually is innocent?" And then you know-- If he actually is innocent it's like the worst thing that's happened to the guy ever. You know?!
B&B: Yeah boy, I never really stopped to think about the ramifications of him actually being innocent.
NORM: Yeah, I think it's impossible. You know what I saw the other day? You know the guy Fred Goldman?
B&B: Yeah, the dad.
NORM: He's got a show now.
B&B: Where is that?
NORM: A TV show.
B&B: It's a TV show, where is it-- out of Los Angeles?
NORM: Yeah, and he solves, like unsolved mysteries or something. It's called "Unsolved Mysteries". [laughter] No it's not. He goes after people that are still on the loose and everything. And in the end he does some mustache waxing tips. I don't know-- He's a good man I shouldn't make fun of him.
Hard To Write Charachters
B&B: Who is in the movie with you?
NORM: A lot of funny guys, When I wrote the movie with my buddy, we don't know how to write characters, you know-- So we'd just write and go 'hey why don't we write this guy just like he is Don Rickles'--
B&B: And then get Don Rickles?
NORM: --and then try to get Don Rickles, because he would read it and go 'Hey this sounds like I can do this'. So that's what we did and then we got all the guys. Yeah, we got Don Rickles in it. Jack Warden, one of my favorite guys. Chevy Chase, Chris Farley and a lot of funny cameos as well, you know.
Chevy's Failed Talk Show
B&B: Do you ever ask Chevy about that talkshow he had on Fox?
NORM: Yeah, yeah, yeah, he's really funny about it, he's all--, like you think he would be ashamed. [laughter] He goes:'Yeah, I did it for 6 weeks I got 12 million dollars. It was the best job I ever had!'. [laughter] I said 'Good god man'--
B&B: He had the Dorito thing there for a while, and then that went away, and his show went away and all of a sudden he was nowwhere.
NORM: Yeah, yeah that was the thing: I wanted to get him in this movie, cause I always loved his early movies you know, I thought he was great like in "Fletch" and "Vacation" and a lot of those movies with just foul play were just, he was just brilliant in them you know. I wanted to write a role for him that could get him back into that hilarious mode that I know he can do.
Whole Bunch of Funny Guys
B&B: You know you need to show up in some more of these SNL-pals movies, I mean, there been plenty made without you Norm. What's the deal there?
NORM: Yeah I don't know what's going on there.
B&B: You make a movie, you got everyone you know.
NORM: I know I always like..., I never liked movies where there is just one funny guy in it. You know a lot of movies nowadays, like there is one funny guy, the star of the movie, and everybody else is just like straight guys around him you know.
B&B: Dr.Dolittle comes to mind...
NORM: Yeah! So I like..., hey wait a minute, I'm in Dr.Dolittle!
B&B: Are you really?! [laughter]
NORM: I play a dog.
B&B: Oh you are the voice of a dog?
NORM: I'm a dog.
B&B: I didn't know that.
NORM: So I wanted to make a movie where there is whole bunch of funny guys, funny roles in it you know, and that way I get to just hang out and listen to them.
B&B: It's less work for you actually.
NORM: Just so long as it's less work for me...
B&B: Where didya... Did you come from a big family?
NORM: Yeah, I had 2 brothers, that's not that big I guess.
B&B: No that's not a big family.
NORM: I come from a small family, [laughter] now that I think about it, and but you know, we were... My brother was very fat.
B&B: Ok. Alright. How much did he weigh?
NORM: My brother he weighed like 340.
B&B: 340?! That's pretty big. Where did you fall in there? Oldest, youngest, middle?
NORM: I was middle.
B&B: Ok. What are your brothers names?
NORM: Neil and Leslie.
B&B: Ok. Alright. Neil, Leslie & Norm. What do they do?
NORM: They are both journalists in Canada.
B&B: Yeah, so are they respected? Are they respected journalists, or are they like just hacks?
NORM: No, no. My brother, one brother is in Jerusalem, he works in Jerusalem as a foreign correspondent. And my other brother works on Parliament Hill.
B&B: Wow! So here your parents going: 'There's our boys, they made something of themselves. And here you are telling he's the voice of the dog in Dr.Dolittle. [laughter]
NORM: Yeah, I'm the idiot that everybody... they don't know what the hell I'm doing.
Dating Elle Macpherson
B&B: Is this true or did you start this rumour: Cause, are you dating Elle MacPherson or were you dating Elle MacPherson? Did you start this, did somebody start this, your publicist?
NORM: No, somebody started that rumour, because Elle came to the show to host it and I hung out with her, you know. [coughs] I liked her, she was a cool girl, but I never had a chance with Elle MacPherson.
B&B: No shot?
NORM: No, no, no.
B&B: See, cause guys like us pin our hopes on guys like you. Because we are even below guys like you.
NORM: No, no, I...[coughs]
B&B: You ok?
NORM: [ignoring remark] No, I never dated Elle McPherson, but I'm still trying to get the number of the fat girl in the gift shop at NBC. I'm working on that.
B&B: What was your favorite character, before we let you go, what did you really like doing?
NORM: The one I liked doing?
B&B: Yeah, the one you really liked doing, the update thing obviously.
NORM: I always liked doing Burt Reynolds, because he was my favorite guy when I was a kid. I just thought he'd be the funniest guy when he'd be on Johnny Carson and stuff. So they had a sketch once where they said: 'Hey can you do Burt Reynolds?' and I said 'Yeah I'll do him!' and ahhh, but I couldn't do like, I just wanted to do him from the 70's, like the old Burt Reynolds, so it was really funny-- So then I'm just in these sketches, I thought I was really funny because like they never explained like why I was from the 1970's and everybody else wasn't. But he is my favorite to do, because he is just cool!
ESPN's Espy Awards
B&B: How about the ESPY's?
NORM: The ESPY's was fun, but it was funny because like, you know 95% of the audience is just New York guys you know, and they liked me, but then the athletes hated me. And then they'd do this thing that I didn't even know that they were doing. While I was talking, I was at Radio City, you know while I was doing my jokes, I'd do a joke about something and then they would cut to some..., behind me on the big screen, they would cut to some big scowling athlete, right after my joke. It would be like Ken Griffey Jr. behind me making a bad face.
B&B: Yeah right, if you missed the punchline, his face would be behind you, up there, scowling. Yeah, OK, here is Joe Carter, kind of like crushing his cup in his hand.
NORM: They didn't like jokes about them. Like I made a joke, I said you know that Charles Woodsen had won the Heismann trophy, and I said 'Congratulations buddy, you know it's something they will never take away from you, unless you kill your wife and a waiter'.
B&B: Don't you think you can put up with quite a bit of being insulted if you are making 5 to 20 million dollars a year like these guys are.
B&B: Hey, bring it on. Go ahead. Come on Norm. I think that joke was your 'Piece de Resistence', your upperdeck blast, Jerry Maguire'esqe joke.
NORM: Well the ESPY's, the athletes really don't care if they win the damn ESPY you know? It's not like show business, it's not like it helps them. It's not like they ever go 'There is ESPY award winner Ken Griffey coming to the plate'. [intense laughter] What?
B&B: Are there any jokes that you... I'd love that, if they flashed it on the bottom of the screen. Put that on a baseball card! He has a 5 time ESPY award.
"Saturday Night Live"
B&B: Are there any jokes that, that you wrote for anything, "Saturday Night Live," for stand-up routines, about O.J. or anybody that you went -- You know it's funny, but it's just, it's too much. I can't, I can't do this --
NORM: Yeah, there were some that I couldn't do --
B&B: Like what?
NORM: -- Well, I would always write sketches on "SNL" and they never, they would never allow you know like -- I had this one idea where O.J. and Fred Goldman would get together. It would be like a detective series, they'd get together to find the real killers, you know. And you know how they have those things where the guys don't get along at first even though they are partners? -- And then they, uhhh they never liked that.
B&B: Well it's not that it wasn't good, they just didn't like it. -- It's not that it wasn't a good idea, they just didn't like it. It's not like it was too much.
NORM: Right they just didn't like it.
B&B: They just couldn't stand bumping the cheerleader bit.
NORM: Yeah exactly! That 25-minute cheerleader bit.
B&B: [Cracking up.]
NORM: The one where the host, the really talented guy would come out and go "Hey, cheerleaders, how are you doing?" And, then they'd talk for 25 minutes.
B&B: [Cracking up.] Oh yeah, that's a great bit! -- We don't want it too fresh Norm. We got our market research. The cheerleaders work, ok?!!
Thank you Danielle Pokorny for providing this interview and Alex Broadbent for transcribing it.