He was a personal favorite, and he died much too young.
He would hate to hear that I wrote that. If Norm wrote this obituary, he would begin it with, “I never really cared for the man.” As for the “dying young” thing, I’m pretty sure Norm would have pointed out that 61 is a ripe old age for somebody who angers OJ. I also believe that Norm would have been disappointed to die this way, quietly, a victim of cancer. I think he would much rather have been slain by one of the many people he offended, preferably by either OJ or a relative of the crocodile hunter.
Or an actual crocodile.
But not “some fruity fish.”
“One of the greatest comedians ever to have lived.”
“I was a hick, born to the barren, rocky soil of the Ottawa Valley, where the richest man in town was the barber.”
Norm never held back, never pulled a punch. As a host, he never let the world forget that OJ was incredibly guilty. As a guest, I still credit him for arguably the greatest talk show appearance of all time, not just because of what Norm said about the beloved, recently deceased and widely mourned crocodile hunter, but also because of the way he frustrated Jon Stewart and the audience, and his brilliant piece of unscripted improv at the end when Stewart put him in the hot seat. His last line, a perfect example of using callback for comedy, completely surprised me (and Jon), and had me laughing out loud.
That appearance was my quirky preference among Norm’s guesting duties. Most people prefer his appearance with Courtney Thorne-Smith on Conan.
He was so successful in comedy that he came very close to becoming the richest man ever to come out of the Ottawa Valley. He would have made it to #1, but as luck would have it, he died before the barber.
But the best thing about Norm is that he was more than just a fearless comedian. He was fearless in all his endeavors. He would try anything in life, just as in comedy. In fact, one time, on a dare …
He fucked a crocodile.