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I am an avid lover of comedy, and Norm Macdonald was by far my favorite comedian. I am younger, and the first live show of his I was going to attend at the San Jose Improv was cancelled because of COVID last year. I am gutted.

Norm really embodied what comedy is truly about. No one likes the smartest guy in the room. Nothing is off limits. Always speak Truth to Power. His style and ability to write jokes, as opposed to the popular story telling methods of today, is still one of a kind. I loved hearing his "meta musings" about comedy and joke writing, where he said the "perfect joke" is one where the set up and punchline are the same. (https://youtu.be/9GKKnlsZvQA?t=231)

My all time favorite performance of any comedian will always be Norm's white house correspondence dinner performance during the Clinton administration. His ability to understand his audience, and write and perform real jokes (unlike the pandering we see in the decades since) is truly the mark of a master. The truest of comedians play the role of the philosopher and jester: through their performances we ought to recognize the things we refuse to see in ourselves and our societies. Norm has a library of noteworthy clips, but this will always be my top. This is art. I implore you to watch.

RIP Norm. You old chunk of coal.


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