Norm Macdonald was a cherished comedian and entertainer. Following his death on Tuesday at the age of 61 after a near-decade-long battle with cancer, friends and fans have been sharing stories about the former SNL star and the impact both he and his comedy had on their lives. Among the most enlightening of those tales have been the ones to come from fellow comedians and colleagues like Seth Meyers and Andy Richter. On Wednesday, Macdonald’s former SNL colleague Jon Lovitz was a guest on The Rich Eisen Show, where he told a story about the time Macdonald got banned from a casino for telling dirty jokes.
The two comedians often toured together over the years, and at one point they ended up doing a show at a casino in Biloxi, Mississippi for a crowd of comped customers. Lovitz said that while he and Macdonald weren’t alike in many ways, neither one of them liked being told what to do. “If you say to me, ‘You can’t say that or talk about a certain thing,’ I’m like: Well now I have to. It’s just sort of your instinct as a comic—to bug people.” Which is how this particular show, which Lovitz opened and Macdonald headlined, ended up going sideways.
“So he’s doing the show—and he’s very funny, but he’s dirty. So someone yells out, ‘We don’t like that kind of talk.’ So there’s about 400 people there and he goes, ‘Well how many of you don’t like that kind of talk?’ and it was practically the whole room. Then he goes, ‘Well how many of you don’t mind?’ And it was like 10 people. So he goes, ‘Well, I’d hate to disappoint those 10 people because the rest of you don’t like it.’ And then he just got dirtier. And I was just crying laughing. The audience wasn’t even laughing, but that was typical him.”
While the casino itself wasn’t named, suffice it to say they weren’t clamoring to book Macdonald for a second show.
You can listen to the full clip below (including Lovitz talking why Macdonald decided to bomb at Bob Saget’s Comedy Central Roast).