4 out of 5
Presented by: Norm Macdonald
That he does. Norm Macdonald Has a Show is, essentially, the new format of Norm’s ‘Norm Macdonald Live’ podcast / Youtube series, which Netflix – host of the current incarnation – has now essentially wiped from the internets, because I guess that’s important to do. In case you haven’t seen it, the structure is wholly maintained: Norm and affably befuddled co-host Adam Eget have a drawn out conversation with a guest, which may or may not have scripted questions but more often has Norm following loose tangents and pursuing jokes at the expense of those same tangents, ‘culminating’ in a series of on-card-printed dumb jokes that the three (guest; Norm; Adam) will take turns reading. It’s a series borne from the same DNA as a lot of the comedy-interview podcasts, Norm’s style somewhat mimicking the loose flow of David Letterman (who’s a producer and guest of this series), so your enjoyment is all contingent on whether or not you giggle at Norm’s droll and questionably purposeful dumbness, and the Letterman-ish anti-humor.
I giggle at that, so I enjoyed it, especially now that Netflix has chopped the show down to half hour segments, which are much more palatable than the hour plus podcasts. Norm’s approach lends itself to a very laid back environment, and conversations necessarily wander quite a bit before finding a rhythm. I suppose that’s also something you generally find in podcasts, but I would find myself tuning out during the lowpoints in Norm’s youtube series, whereas this iteration easily kept my attentions.
True, the episodes where the guest has some improv or comedy in their DNA tended to be better, but even when that’s not the case (Jane Fonda, Judge Judy), Norm hints at something more behind his deadpan persona by asking some interesting questions that clearly give people pause for how they come out of left field.
Too many words to say: If you like Norm Macdonald, or you’ve like his previous show, Netflix has provided a good outlet for the man.