Featured review: Jim Norton– Despicable

By | February 14, 2011 at 11:39 am | No comments | Features | Tags: , , , , ,

Release date: March 8

In case you don’t know, Jim Norton is what George Carlin would have been had Carlin not been such a sweet and sensitive guy. On his aptly-titled third album Despicable – over half of the track titles (“Penguins are Assholes,” “Ron Jeremey’s Giant Cock,” “A Pile of Pussy”) would be unprintable in a mainstream publication – Norton gives his fans exactly the kind of abrasive, vulgar and entirely unrepentant comedy they’ve come to love and expect.

Perhaps best known to television audiences as Rich from HBO’s famously cancelled-before-it-had-a-chance sitcom Lucky Louie and to Sirius XM subscribers as the perverted co-host of The Opie and Anthony Show, Norton vows early on that he’ll “watch anything with misery in it.’”

True to his word, Norton discusses such heartwarming subjects as Hurricane Katrina, suicide jumpers, a morbidly obese woman whose skin somehow got grafted to her own couch—and even outlines a few rather clever ways to get away with murder. An avid collector of celebrity autographs, Norton also shares a handful of stories about the people he’s met, including a hysterical accounting of how he ended up in a picture with Laura Bush. Oh, and don’t worry, Norton fans – there’s also plenty true tales of immoral and deviant sex acts.

Throughout Despicable, Norton defends himself with characteristic fervor. “People will say to me, ‘You got blown by a transsexual, how does that not make you gay?’ Real simple. I’m an American. I’m allowed to go to Europe – as long as I come back to America, I’m not European. I’m just an American who enjoyed Europe a lot more than he thought he would.”

The biggest pitfall for a cringe comic is that it’s often easy to rely too heavily on vulgarity to carry weak material. And indeed, there are a few times where Norton’s jokes don’t seem to be much more than a collection of epithets.

Most of the time, however, his wordplay is adept enough to make you laugh even while you’re telling yourself that you shouldn’t be. Despicable is not an album for the weak of heart. But if you’re in a mood to take a ride to places you know you’re not supposed to go, then fasten your seatbelt and hold on tight.

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About the Author

Jeff Havens

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