It’s been nearly a year since the passing of Norm Macdonald, and even now wild stories (and even specials) are still being shared. On an episode of the podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Dana Carvey told a brief but hilarious story about how the late comic once drove an audience batty by repeating a certain word until they couldn’t take any more.
The host — who has his own share of incredible Norm moments, including an iconic one involving Carrot Top — was talking about Kevin Nealon, his SNL colleague who’s known for his off-the-cuff, nonchalant delivery. For instance, one time he was talking about how Macdonald was a “brave” comic, but Nealon joked that he wasn’t, telling a crowd, “I think of it more as a lack of judgment.”
That got Carvey talking about Macdonald’s fearlessness, about his “not caring” about pleasing an audience. He could clear the room,” he recalled, then told a story about how one time he did. It was at the Comedy Store, on a night when Bill Burr was doing a set. But Macdonald decided his set would largely consist of him saying a single word, ad nauseam.
“He just said the word ‘c*ck’…200 times?” Carvey remembered. “He just knew how funny it was to say that over and over and over.” That, Carvey said, was a very comedian’s comedian moment, where they respect a colleague who will go there, who will intentionally alienate and enrage an audience, just because they can.
“There was only one Norm,” Carvey concluded.
You can watch the discussion in the video above.