Weeks ago, when Jay Leno announced that he had hired Jim Norton, the master of contemporary cringe comedy, to be a special correspondent on his new, presumably safe-for-the-masses variety show, I was a bit shocked. The reasons? First, I had no idea Leno had such advanced and impeccable taste in comedians. Second, I thought, what in the hell is Norton, a guy who has made a career, in part, by telling strangers onstage about his gay oral sex misadventures when he was a child, having prostitutes defecate upon him and bestiality stories (not involving him) going to say on a show meant for Leno followers?
Needless to say, I watched Leno’s show last night with great interest, knowing Norton was making his first appearance. In the end, I think Norton did a stellar job of maintaining a pretty sharp edge while still fitting into the late-night network mold. He took an amazingly tired comedy topic — airline travel — and injected it with pure Norton. Check out the video below. And please let us know how you think Norton did in the comments section.
I also thought it was cool that Leno let Jimmy use the Opie & Anthony “WOW” sticker on Norton’s set.
Check out a clip of Norton — in his natural state onstage — from his 2005 HBO One Night Stand special after the jump.