During the late ’90s, comedian Jim Norton garnered a few spots on television, usually as an extra or as himself. But his Opie & Anthony Show-fueled radio show persona truly began to shine on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. That’s when I first heard and saw the New Jersey native’s hilarious brand of biting commentary in action. Norton has been perfecting his voice since then, and it shines in his new special Contextually Inadequate, which premieres on EPIX tonight.
The Opie Radio and Louie regular took some time to talk with us about the special, and how he really wants to take a vacation sometime in the next six months. Among other things, we also discussed that Bill Cosby thing, the proper use of Twitter, and just how angry the people of Boston are these days.
I watched the new special last night, and I noticed it was recorded in Boston.
Yeah, Boston is one of my favorite places to perform, so I’ve done my last two specials there. I did American Degenerate there.
In an interview for Please Be Offended, you said of Cleveland, “The more disgruntled the white people are, the happier they are to see me.” Then you mentioned Boston…
Yes! I love Boston. They’re aggressive, angry white people.
I was going to ask, on a scale of 1 to 10, how disgruntled would you say they were for Contextually Inadequate?
I would say Boston white people are always about at 9. That’s about as good as it gets, but I think that’s also about as bad as it gets. I think Boston people are fairly even in their “disgruntledness.” I don’t think it ever changes, which is why I love it so much.
This is your third special with EPIX. How is it working with them?
They’re really good! They give me total creative freedom. They’re awesome because they give me all the freedom I want.
Is that just for the specials, or does that include promos too?
The promotional stuff is more collaborative, but the special, the material, the look of it, the way I open it, that’s all on me. They’re very good with that.