Music

Mark Normand Says Stand-Up Comics Are Their Own Species

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“Honesty prohibition is what we are going through right now. Going to a comedy club and hearing jokes are like going to a truth speakeasy. You have to go pay money to hear the truth,” says comedian Mark Normand.

Good stand-up shocks with its delivery of the intimately personal — the brutal, sad truths. Each performance for a comedian onstage is unique, deriving different interactions from every audience.

“With comedy, you can control why people laugh at you — that’s a big part of it,” says Normand.

“People are scared to enjoy it, but it’s bullshit,” he says. “I think it all started with jobs. Everybody was scared to lose their job and now they’re scared to lose everything else and it just got weirder and weirder.

“Now people are like, ‘Y’know what, fuck it. We’ll just not laugh at anything.’ ”

Normand is a New Orleans native who moved to New York City. Before he made a career out of comedy, he worked by day as a janitor at New York Film Academy.

This past November, he opened for Amy Schumer at Carnegie Hall — the biggest room he has performed for to date. He’s also had a half-hour Comedy Central Special and released a CD, Still Got It.

In this episode of This Is Stand-Up, he addresses a big issue for many comics: feeling like an outsider — misunderstood, unfit for the workplace, ultimately unable to connect with anyone save for fellow comics.

See also:
Follow New York Comic Sam Morril from Club to Club as He Works Out This Joke
Colin Quinn: ‘Comedy’s Not the Guy That Gets Laid’


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