Toward the end of a week in which his comments about Roseanne Barr, Louis C.K., Chris Hardwick and the #MeToo movement have been criticized, Norm Macdonald appeared on Thursday’s The View to explain himself. The Saturday Night Live alum and Norm Macdonald Has a Show star appeared apologetic throughout the segment, though he also stood his ground on a few points, especially those that were raised by co-host Joy Behar.
“You kind of lose me when you imply that the hardship that your friend Louis C.K. [went] through is equal to the hardship that the victims went through,” said Behar. “That doesn’t compute. Can you explain yourself?” In response, Macdonald said “that’s not what I was saying.” He then tried to offer a clearer explanation:
“When this went down with Roseanne I called her the next day and she was crying the whole time. I was worried about her. She seemed really in a bad place. I said, ‘I can’t talk to you about this, I’ve never been through anything like this’ and I know Louis and he’s been through this and has had everything taken from him… you should talk.’ And [the reporter asked,] ‘What about the victims?’ and I said, ‘Well, the victims haven’t gone through this. This particular event. Of course, the victims have gone through worse than that. But am I going to get a victim to phone Roseanne?”
While these comments did provide some context for Macdonald’s initial controversy, which The View co-hosts acknowledged, it didn’t explain the comedian’s quips about his The Tonight Show appearance being canceled on a recent episode of The Howard Stern Show.
Specifically, Behar and company were curious about Macdonald’s bit that “you’d have to have Down syndrome” not to feel sorry for C.K.’s victims:
“It’s always bad when you have to apologize for the apology. There used to be a word we would all say to mean stupid that we wouldn’t say any more. You know the word I’m talking about? Stupidly I was about to say that word and I stopped and [wondered] what the right word was to say, and I said a different word that was equally [offensive]. I realized at that moment I said something unforgivable… The remark I made about people with Down syndrome is terrible.”
So yeah, there’s that.