The Late Show with David Letterman
FEBRUARY 25, 2000 (CBS)
Dave's Green Face
DAVE: Thanks for being here. Norm, how are you doing? You all right?
NORM: Oh, Oh, great, yeah.
DAVE: Now you said to me when you came out-- and I appreciate it-- you said, "hey, nice to see you, man." And then you looked at me, and you said, "you look great." But the look in your eye, I could tell you didn't mean it. (Laughter) now do... Do I look bad? Do I look like I'm fading, here?
NORM: No, no I felt weird saying "you look great," always means, like it sounds like...
DAVE: Compared to being dead, is what you were thinking, right? (Laughter)
NORM: Actually, when I saw you on Monday-- 'cause they were promoing it all day-- but they never showed you in the promos.
DAVE: Right, yeah. Slick, huh?
NORM: And I said, I wonder what Dave's going to look like. And I was watching with my buddy and, uh... (Laughter) and then you come out, and your face looked, like, green.
DAVE: Green, ooh!
NORM: And then I said, "oh, my god, Dave's face turned green." (Laughter) right? Then it turned, like, pink.
NORM: And then I realized it was my TV, it wasn't you. (Laughter)
DAVE: You thought maybe it was a side effect of the surgery at first?
NORM: No, I knew that people don't turn green, pink, green, pink.
NORM: But I thought, right at first, you were green, I said, "oh, my god." So anyways, I going to get my TV fixed, which is a lot better than...you know, when you think about it.
DAVE: Yeah. (Laughter) easier probably, too.
DAVE: I heard something... (Laughs) ...That I thought was interesting, and I...
NORM: I get nervous. I'm sorry, I get nervous around sick people. (Laughter and applause) I know you're not sick.
DAVE: I'm fine, I'm not sick.
NORM: Yeah, yeah.
DAVE: I've been through a rather strenuous procedure.
NORM: Oh, I know.
DAVE: But I'm not.
NORM: Oh, my god, I know. I know all about that stuff. I go to doctors all the time.
DAVE: You do, really?
NORM: Yeah, yeah.
DAVE: You seem like you're in pretty good shape.
NORM: WelI, I'm afraid of getting sick though, man. I'm afraid of that stuff.
NORM: You know, 'cause I don't... like, I go to specialists. I go to the MAYO clinic every week.
DAVE: Oh, yeah, they're pretty good up there.
NORM: They're great.
DAVE: Got some top boys.
NORM: Yeah. 'Cause I used to go to general practitioners-- GP's
NORM: Those guys suck! (Laughter) I don't even understand what... They're general, they're not a specialist or anything so they're kind of like, "yeah, I'm a little bit good at everything." (Laughter) So I go, "give me a physical." You know what they do? They go like this. They poke around my belly. You know what I mean? And then they, they take a thing, they look at my ear with a light. Right? I go, "oh, is everything all right there in my head? My entire head's good, huh?" (Laughter)
DAVE: They can see the entire head.
NORM: Yeah, they go, "yeah, everything's all right there." Then they take their thing, it's almost like a cartoon, like they hit my knee with a mallet.
DAVE: Oh, the reflex mallet, sure, yeah.
NORM: And that never comes back negative, you know? I mean...
DAVE: Yeah, yeah, you're hooked up... Sometimes it might, but you're hooked up pretty good.
NORM: No, they go, "you're not...good news, you're not paralyzed from the neck down." (Laughter) "your knee responds to me hitting it with a hammer." (Laughter)
DAVE: Now, Norm (Cheers and applause) I heard...
NORM: But, thank god...
DAVE: He's not done, he's just resting.
DAVE: Now, I want to ask you a question about your personal life, and if it's none of my business, please tell me. Now, I heard that you had given up... You had a recreation, you had a hobby...gambling. You enjoyed gambling.
NORM: Yeah, I had hobby of compulsive gambling.
DAVE: Really? (Laughter and applause) and you've given it up?
DAVE: Well, good for you. That's a big step. (Cheers and applause) so how's that going?
NORM: It's... It's not much fun. Life isn't much fun without it.
NORM: No. It's not a lot of fun, because there's nothing to do. (Laughter) you know what I mean? I don't watch games anymore, because I used to bet on the games. It was very exciting. I don't go to Las Vegas. I started...the thing about is it is you start feeling like a big jackass, you know? Because you lose so much money. And then they think they're fooling you. Like, you go to casinos, right? And they're friendly to you. Like, the bigger jackass you are, the more friendly they are, you know? (Laughter) like, you know you're in trouble when a guy runs up, wants to give you free stuff. "Hey, you want a steak?" You're like, "no, that's all right." "It's free, man. I'll buy you a free...like, some beef." You're like, "no, that's all right."
DAVE: That's just to keep you gambling, is what it is.
NORM: Sure. "Hey, you want to stay here in the hotel, like, for free, for a week?" You're, like, "no, I'm just here for the day." But no, seriously. And I got some steak. (Laughter)
DAVE: Did you ever win really, really big? I don't know much about gambling. I don't know much about this compulsion. Did you ever win big, is that the point? Or is it just the action?
NORM: Uh, I don't know.
NORM: I went to a psychiatrist. You ever go to those guys?
DAVE: Yeah, sure.
NORM: You do? (Laughter) those guys are horrible!
DAVE: Well, are they worse than the GP's?
NORM: They are much worse. I'll tell you what a psychiatrist does, man. They make you, like, get in touch with the emotions that you spend your life trying to avoid at all costs. (Laughter and applause)
DAVE: Yeah that's no good. Well, I'm glad you're not gambling.
NORM: This one woman, man, she was trying to...she was, like, "what do you do?" And I'm, like, "hey, man, ha, ha, ha, you know everything's fine." She's, like, "no, but why, why?" All of a sudden, I'm, like, all emotional. Like you on Monday night, where you were emotional, you know, when a guy's not a regularly emotional guy like you, and then they are emotional?
NORM: It's like watching Nixon cry, or something. (Laughter) (cheers and applause)
DAVE: I wasn't really crying. I didn't break down sobbing, or anything.
NORM: It was a great moment. It was a great moment. And when you brought the doctors out, and all that, on the staff, and all I could think of was at that hospital, what about the people that come in?
DAVE: I felt bad about the guy they left on the table, yeah. (Laughter)
NORM: Oh, you're a good man. It's so good to have you back. I've been having to watch "Rhoda" on Channel 6. (Laughter and applause)
The First Time I Got Drunk
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story was the inspiration for "My Name is Norm", episode 5 of "Norm". -MW
DAVE: It's a great story, and we always run out of time, and I want you to tell it. You were a kid, right?
DAVE: And this was the first time you were...you got drunk?
NORM: When I got drunk, yeah. I was a very straight-laced kid, you know.
DAVE: How old were you when this happened?
NORM: I was 18, 19 years old. And I decided to drink, you know? And I was out with my buddies at a bar. My god, we started drinking. They had those shooters, you know? Those are hard to take, you know, you can't gauge them, you know. (Laughter) and before you knew it, I was so crazily drunk, like, just drunk out of my mind. And so then, time passes in a weird way, and my friends, they wanted to leave the bar. Like, "hey, let's go." And I'm like, "AAAAHHHHH!". (Laughter) like I went crazy all of a sudden. So, I'm like, "why should I leave? We're having fun here at the bar. You guys leave if you want, right?" So, they go, and I'm making friends with everybody, man. There's a fat guy with a beard, you know, and there was a jukebox it's like a western movie, you know what I mean? And there's a bartender, there's all kinds of ladies and everything like that, and everybody's my friend. So, I'm getting drunker and drunker with these shots, you know, and they're all crazy, dirty sex name shots, you know?
DAVE: Oh yeah,
NORM: Here, have a Dirty Sex. You know, you're like, whatever. (Laughter)
NORM: They make you order them to humiliate you. Like you're such a...you're a drunk loser. Like, yeah can I...can you have sex with my drink? (Laughter) So, I get all drunk and then I go in the bathroom and a dude gives me some pills. He has some pills.
DAVE: Oh No!
NORM: And you're not supposed to ever mix pills with booze.
DAVE: Is that right?
NORM: Yeah. Any doctor...
DAVE: Is that what they told you up at the MAYO clinic? (Laughter and applause)
NORM: But this guy was not a doctor. He was just a guy I met in the bathroom. (Laughter)
DAVE: Even worse than a GP?
NORM: He was worse than a GP. His name, though... His name, though, was Dr. Midnight. (Laughter) but I found out he was not accredited or anything.
DAVE: Not really a doctor, no.
NORM: So, anyway... So I take these pills and what they do is, they say that you're not supposed to mix them, but on the other hand, in one way it works. (Laughter) so, I'm, like, so drunk now and having so much fun and everything. "Hey, fat bearded guy," having an arm wrestle with him. I don't know how to arm wrestle. Then all of a sudden.. I'm playing pool. I go to shoot a thing of pool and I fall down right in all the pool balls and then I just black out, what's called blacking out. It's not passing out.
DAVE: You black out.
NORM: You don't...don't remember anything.
DAVE: Oh Yeah.
NORM: I wake up, right? I'm in a bed, but it's not my bed, you know? And I look beside me, who do I see? The fat bearded guy. (Laughter) (cheers and applause)
Old-Fashioned Gay Guy?
NORM: So, I go, "holy lord god, I had sex with the fat bearded guy." (Laughter) and at this point in my life, I was a young man, I had never had intercourse in my life.
NORM: And I had always imagined it, but I never imagined it that way. (Laughter) I imagined a nice lady in a dress.
DAVE: That's right. (Laughter) but there's got to be a first time for everybody.
NORM: It's not all gravy.
NORM: So, I look over and I go, "oh, my god." And then, I notice we're in twin beds there. You know, we're not...we're not in the same bed. And I go, "is this some kind of, one of them old-fashioned gay guys?" (Laughter)
DAVE: I don't know...
NORM: There's no such thing. Gay guys are generally not old- fashioned. They're right on top of the latest thing.
DAVE: Happening. They're happening. Right on top of the latest thing. That's right, Norm (Laughter).
NORM: They're ahead of things, they have sex and they don't even use a lady. So...so anyway...(Laughter) (applause)...
3 Days in Rehab
NORM: Anyway, the upside of the story is what happens is I never had sex with this fat guy with a beard. This guy had checked me into a rehab (Laughter). This guy was like a dirty drunk, and he took me for a dirty drunk too.
DAVE: Sure, yeah.
NORM: So, I'm like, "what the hell?" He says, "hey, man, you know, go here in rehab, man. It's good for both of us." And I'm like, "oh, god." So, I had a big, like, a robe on, fluffy slippers. (Laughter) they wouldn't give me my clothes, right?
DAVE: How long were you in there?
NORM: They had a bag of my clothes somewhere, they wouldn't tell me where it was.
DAVE: Would they let you out?
NORM: No, three days I had to stay.
DAVE: Three days. (Laughter) that's awful.
NORM: They made me go to a... What is called an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, right.
NORM: And I get up, I go, "hey, I'm not an alcoholic," which it turns out is what a lot of alcoholics...
DAVE: They all say that, yeah. (Laughter and applause)
NORM: I said, "that fat bearded guy-- there's the alcoholic right over there."
DAVE: Now how long did you guys date?
NORM: NO! (Applause)
Just Naturally Funny
DAVE: You're just genuinely funny.
NORM: Aw, you're a nice guy.
DAVE: Everything you say is funny (applause).