Norm Macdonald has had quite the 2014. Between the comedian’s chart-topping podcast, Norm Macdonald Live, frequent touring and finishing his upcoming memoirs, his wave of productivity has brought joy to comedy fans across North America. His series of shows last week (December 4-7) at Caroline’s was a refreshing reminder that Macdonald’s as funny as ever. With the galvanizing intimacy of Caroline’s being the ideal venue for Macdonald’s style, the comedian brought the audience on a ride of emotive storytelling, chainsaw-sharp banter, and that refreshing Macdonald charm.
Macdonald’s one of the medium of comedy’s finest writers. An outspoken admirer of literary great Leo Tolstoy and outlaw country legend Billy Joe Shaver, Macdonald’s style falls somewhere in between, able to generate instant empathy and contempt for the subjects of his jokes, all while keeping the audience both laughing and sharing in the live comedy performance experience. He’s transcendently funny and endearingly accessible at the same time.
It’s a testament to Macdonald’s writing that just about every fine crafted sentence out of his mouth generates some sort of chuckle. Not content to merely make us laugh with punchlines, Macdonald’s setups are crammed with enough exciting turns of phrase to send us into hysterics. As further evidence, we submit to you these dozen out-of-context lines from Norm Macdonald setups.
For the punchlines, be sure to catch Norm live.
“Hey, you want to see 10,000 pictures of my great-great-grandfather?”
“It ain’t Christmas! I know when our Lord and Savior died!”
“You know how beautiful sunsets are? Turns out, they’re not.”
“I think most rapists are hypocrites.”
“You can’t say one religion is worse than the other, except in one case.”
“I’m an uneducated clod born to the barren soil of rural Ontario.”
“That was an angry clap.”
“The wait-person, as I call them now.”
“Alice, we don’t know if she has Ebola or not. We hope she doesn’t.”
“Not a literal laundry list.”
“In the prison of your bones.”
” ‘But you got a cock!’ Well, that’s true.”