Today, we honor the late Norm Macdonald by looking at his classic take down of the very concept of the Celebrity Roast.
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One of the things that you will be seeing shared the most from people today upon the tragic news that Norm Macdonald has passed away at the far too young age of 61 is his legendary appearance on the 2008 Comedy Central Roast Of Bob Saget.
In it, Norm pokes fun at the very IDEA of celebrity roasts by going out there and using old jokes (literally from an old book of jokes his father had once given him called Jokes for Retirement Parties) to roast Saget and the other attendees.
Macdonald had been told by a producer to “just be shocking,” so Macdonald felt that you couldn’t be any more shocking than to tell recycled dad jokes at a roast. The boldness of the bit comes from the fact that Norm obviously knows that he is going to “fail” at first, as the audience will groan at the bad jokes, but by committing to the bit, he knows that the audience will hopefully slowly come around to what he is intentionally doing and go along with it, and to a certain extent, he succeeds. It worked a lot better with the other comics there, though, than the audience, as other comics tend to be more supportive of “anti-comedy” than a traditional studio audience.
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