Battling cancer for 9 years without telling anyone is the most Norm Macdonald shit ever.
I had no idea that he performed at
the Hancher Auditorium at The University of Iowa in 1997 and mortified most of a crowd of 1,200 excited kids and their parents who’d come to see him, Darrell Hammond, and Jim Breuer at the height of their SNL fame. The 250 or so who’d remained appear to have had a fantastic time:
"When Norm took the stage he immediately launched into a bit that was intentionally supposed to be offensive to most of the audience. As it went on, people got up and left in large numbers. Each time a new group would leave, he would make a remark like, ‘Did you think I was going to do airline jokes?’ or ‘Did you think I was going to hold up a picture of the Ayatollah and make a joke?’ Then he would double down on the dirty material to see how many more people he could drive out. It was clearly a game to see if he could empty out the place and after some time probably over two-thirds of the crowd had left.
[…] "Whoever booked the show comes in the green room all sweaty with his tie askew. He looked like he had seen a ghost. He says ‘You gotta go get him.’ Me, pull Norm off the stage? I’m not getting him. Breuer was laughing. He says, ‘I’m not getting him.’
"Me [Hammond] and Breuer knew something special was happening. He and I got chairs and sat on the side of the stage where nobody could see us. It was one of the most-brilliant shows I’ve ever seen.
"Anybody who thought Norm would change his act was sorely mistaken. Norm just didn’t care.
“He’s revered in the comedians’ world. He doesn’t bother with pretenses or correctness. He’s probably the original politically incorrect comedian. It’s not for a shock factor. It’s just who he is.”
Mike Hlas, “
The night Norm Macdonald mortified the University of Iowa”, The Gazette ( cached)
The Des Moines Register’s report:
Here’s Jim Breuer on the incident:
Posted 19th September 2021