Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Standup

Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Standup
Norm Macdonald is a strangely masochistic comedian who's equally happy with laughs or boos from his audience. That was always the case when he was the Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live, at least before he was fired for allegedly being "not funny" "Or at the Roast of Bob Saget, where he deliberately bombed, telling stupidly tame material. And that hasn't changed on his first stand-up show in a long, long time, Me Doing Standup. The DVD finds him talking about many of his favourite topics, such as sex, Tiger Woods and O.J. Simpson, with a focus on the darker side of life. He spends the first 15 minutes on cancer and death before moving on to abductions and murder. It isn't light material, yet his unusual worldview and laidback delivery prevent it from all being too much. Stand-up works for Norm because while his one-liners often lose the audience, he's a master at bringing the audience along with him until they're convinced what he's saying is actually funny. Naturally, when he gets them to that point, he keeps pushing until he loses them again, but that's not unexpected considering his track record. Me Doing Standup is very, very funny and that's the most important thing. Macdonald keeps the comedy smart and subtle, and also makes the most of the uncensored nature of the DVD by keeping the profanity count relatively high, although it's never used gratuitously, more just as a part of his natural vocabulary. This is wonderful stuff and it makes the decision to axe his current gig, Sports Show, after just one season even more bewildering. At around an hour, his set definitely feels a little brief, but thankfully the DVD includes some decent extras to pad the running time. First, there's the pilot episode of Back To Norm, a sketch comedy show he created with Bruce McCulloch back in 2005, which was never picked up. It's a little on the uneven side, but does provide a few good laughs. Also included is an animated version of a sketch from his last CD, Ridiculous, plus his set from the Bob Saget roast, which will make even the biggest Norm fan cringe just a little. (Paramount)