The Borgata, Atlantic City

Norm at the Borgata: I’ll cut through all the intro fluff and just get right to it.

Opening for Norm was a comic named Joe Starr. The article the Press of Atlantic City wrote about the show claims that Joe Starr “knocked 'em dead”, and he may have gotten some good laughs from most of the audience. But his performance was painful for anyone who has any respect for stand up comedy. It seemed as if he was practically reading from a book of stereotypical opening act jokes. And he must have covered the entire “make jokes about you being fat” chapter.

It seemed like this was a guy that the Borgata assigned to Norm, rather than a comic Norm picked himself for an opener. In the two other times I’ve seen Norm, he’s picked the opening act, and they were both fantastic.

So Norm comes out and he seemed in good spirits and not intoxicated on anything at all. People who think otherwise just aren't familiar with Norm. He was lacking his big bushy mustache, though. He starts off telling his gambling jokes that he told on a Late Show with David Letterman five years ago. Then he goes into the September 11th jokes he told in Ontario Mills three years ago. Then his cancer/heart attack/alcoholic jokes that he’s been telling for years…

Basically he only threw about three or four short bits into his routine that I’ve never heard before. Which did make the show less enjoyable for me. But I’ve realized that the vast majority of people who attended that show were not editors of unofficial Norm MacDonald webpages. Most of the people there have never heard any of this stuff before, so I know from Norm’s point of view, there’s not much of a reason to try out new stuff.

The notable events of the show, though, were the hecklers! Norm had hecklers!!!

The first character was some drunk girl in the second row. Throughout the show she kept raising her hands and waving at Norm. Halfway through the show she decides to speak up…

Norm: You can tip a valet… so you can give an ass doctor a couple of bucks. I don’t want to go back to the ass doctor and have him be like, “Oh that cheap bastard! I’ll just leave a few things up his ass.”
[Audience Laughs]
Drunk Girl: Pray tell why Norm?
Norm: Yes ma’am?
Drunk Girl: Pray tell why?
Norm: Pardon me?
Drunk Girl: Pray tell why?
Norm: Pardon? No… I didn’t hear what you said.
Drunk Girl: Why!
Norm: “Why?”!!! … Now that’s an interesting question. … One that’s plagued mankind for centuries. … Now, let me address it here in this nightclub.
[Audience laughs]
Drunk Girl: I’ll need a drink for that one!
Norm: You think you’re going to a Schopenhauer concert or something? ... “I don’t know!” … That’s the answer.

Norm went on with his set, but a while later a booming voice from the back yells, “You suck!!!”

Norm is caught off guard and responds, “What’s that? I didn’t hear you. Did you just say I sucked?” Norm continues looking confused and takes a drink of water. “No, I didn’t hear you, you say I- I mean I heard you, but where are you?” The asshole doesn’t show himself. “I just want to know why I suck, this is serious. … This could really effect my further career. … I found people don’t want to hire guys who suck.”

Again, Norm continues, but later on another voice from the crowd randomly yells “Hey queer!”

Norm again looks shocked and replies. “’Hey queer’? … Now I’m gonna be up all night pondering my sexuality! … Or is that a song that I don’t know about?”

He continues on with the joke he had just started. (One of the new ones and an awesome one at that) But after he finishes his joke he says, “Oh, I thought of a heckle retort just now. I’m not that quick on my feet but I just thought of it. You ready?”

The crowd cheers “Yeah!!!”

Norm prepares himself…

“Yeah? Well you’re queer!”

And the crowd cheers in delight. Then just like that the show was over. Norm says his goodbyes and walks off the stage. It was only about a 40 minute show, a little under how long his shows typically last.

Overall it was a great show. But I really must stress to you guys to not read the Ontario Mills Improv performance if you plan on attending a recent show. I know it’s tempting, but just have a bit of patience, okay? It’ll be worth it in the end.