Norm MacDonald, who was one of my very favorite comedians growing up (and who I saw perform in Philadelphia just a few years back) has always been known for his offbeat style of comedy. In more recent years, however, he has been more notorious for his eccentricity which — while not necessarily a bad thing — makes for an outstanding Reddit AMA (which coincides with the return of his web series).
The first thing you need to know about Norm MacDonald’s Reddit AMA is that Norm MacDonald does not do Reddit AMA the way most people do Reddit AMAs. MacDonald had Victoria Larkin of Reddit “help” him with the AMA questions, which means that basically Larkin asks him questions which she then transcribes like a court reporter. It also means that, to Norm, he’s just having a friendly Q&A with this Victoria person and addresses her as such. I genuinely don’t know if this is intentional or not. But therein lies the beauty of Norm MacDonald, so let’s jump in, shall we?
Your Burt Reynolds is is the best impersonation in SNL history, did Burt find it funny?
Yes, he phoned me and told me he wanted to come on the show, because I did celebrity Jeopardy as Burt Reynolds. His idea was to come on the show, punch me in the face, replace me and then be even stupider. He talked to me on the phone, and he was even funnier in real life, he would just laugh all the time.
(Note: While this AMA style doesn’t allow for much follow up Q&A, according to another Redditor this never came to fruition because he was fired that same week — which he talks about in this later SNL monologue when they had him back to host.)
Hey Norm! What are your thoughts on Artie Lange these days.. Would you ever consider doing a Dirty Work 2?? Huge fan!
Yes. Wait, what? Yes, I would consider doing a Dirty Work 2. But there’s so much involved. I should start a kickstarter. Because the problem is Dirty Work 1 lost so much money the movie studio had to shut down. MGM had a huge loss in their quarter, and the stock owners fled, and boy, you hear a lot about that on your answering machine. So I don’t know if they want to make another one. But Artie is always hilarious.
Hi Norm, my two brothers and I grew up in the 90’s and would stay up late every saturday to watch you on Update. We went on to obsess over Dirty Work and memorized it word for word. Can you share your favourite (or least favourite) memory during the making of the film? Thanks! #LateLateNormNorm
Oh yes, my favorite memory of the movie was Chris Farley, because we had him play a guy whose nose was bit off by a Saigon whore. So he did all the scenes with no nose, and he would improvise all his dialogue, he would ask first if it was alright, and I would say “sure,” because he was just the funniest guy ever. It was really sad with Chris because he would always say he wanted to be as funny as John Belushi, and I would say that he funnier than John Belushi, but he never knew how funny he was. Sad.
Where is the strangest place someone has recognized you?
Well, let me answer this by asking a question: when I was on SNL, I played Burt Reynolds on Celebrity Jeopardy. One time, he (being me, playing he) refused to be called “Burt Reynolds” because he had changed his name to “Turd Ferguson.” So Alex Trebec had to call him “Turd Ferguson” that became a little cult thing. So one time, i was in a very crowded street, and the street was 5th Avenue, which you know, at lunchtime how crowded it was, and there were hundreds of people watching as a gentleman yelled at me “HEY TURD!” and I said “Thank you! Thank you!” And I always wondered what sort of relationship those people thought me and that fellow had.
Have you ever considered bringing back Turd Ferguson and giving him his own TV show?
Hahaha. What are the chances that question would come up?
Someone should write a Smokey & the Bandit sequel and have me in it doing Burt Reynolds. It seems like it would be illegal, but I think it would be amazing.
During your time as an SNL cast member, what was your favorite character to play?