Jim Norton talks new special, Patrice O’Neal, fraudulent speech and more during Reddit AMA

By | June 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm | One comment | News | Tags: , , ,

Jim Norton, whose new hour special Please Be Offended airs June 30 at 10 pm ET on Epix (catch a preview clip here), took to Reddit this morning for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with his fans. Norton hit all of his favorite talking points – freedom of speech, the public’s hypersensitivity, his own self-loathing, prostitutes and so much more. Here’s a few highlights:

Norton, who discusses the joy of being able to say what he wants on radio and stage and via the Internet, also addresses the negative side of the freedom that the Internet allows: Internet cowards.
“I detest Internet anonymity because people say things they’d NEVER say face to face. we don’t live in Communist China; no one will beat down your door for an opinion. I don’t need a law passed, I just have a vitriolic hatred for Internet cowards”

One name that came up a lot is Patrice O’Neil, who was one of Norton’s closest friends and comedy heroes. He reflects a bit on his time with the late comedian.
“Patrice, me and Keith Robinson, Kevin Hart used to take each other’s bits to ‘hack court.’ It’s been so many years, I cannot remember what I was convicted for, but believe me I was convicted. We would accuse each other’s bits of being hacky and then argue for three hours.”

“Patrice was the funniest person I’ve ever known, the only guy I’d put on par is Colin [Quinn].”

“Patrice didn’t blow up because the business is run by fucking dummies. Patrice was everything they hated; intimidating and honest and never gave them the smile they require.”

If you’re familiar with Norton’s politics, you know he’s somewhat torn between the right and the left. Norton discusses his problem with Left Wing politics and “language policing.”
“The arrogance of thinking that conservative thinking isn’t ‘forward’ is exactly what I hate about the Left. I am very liberal about so many things, but the Left has lost me with language policing. This mentality, which is supposed to be about free thought, does nothing but try and penalize people for saying un-PC things. I disagree with conservatives about SO much.”

Norton has always been very vocal about, among other things, his own acting, which he thinks is poor. In particular, he has never figured out what to do with his hands. Mariuscioane asks “Have you figured out what to do with your hands while acting?”

“Yes, put one of them around the barrel of a shotgun and the other on the trigger.”

And more on self-deprication in general:
“I have always taken what was awful and made fun of it. It’s definitely a defense mechanism. If I bring it out in the open and address it, no one can take it and use it against me. My secrets, the things I hate about myself, I love making fun of that stuff the most. Slowly letting it out.”

Jim Norton on other comics:
“I am friends with some of the funniest people in the country. But NOTHING, including Sandusky trial testimony, is more revolting than a comedian who ALWAYS tries to ‘be on.’ We tend to ridicule those assholes because they’re being fraudulent.”

When asked about other comics who he is rooting for:
“John Mulaney and Amy Schumer are both great and ready to become far more famous than I am.”

johns0968 asks: “Who is Jim Norton?”
“He was created in a lab from weak, discarded chins, b-cup tits and an appendix scar.”

Norton, who has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, by his estimation, about 50 times, explains his relationship with every comedy nerd’s favorite target:
“I don’t mind people loving or hating a comic’s humor, either opinion is fair. I love Jay, he’s treated me great and I get away with a lot of harsh content on the show. Most of the public animosity is based on people not really understanding what happened, and this fake-edge where they think attacking Leno is hip and smart. I’ve never met Conan and I honestly have nothing against him. I think his Twitter account is brilliant.”

johnsmcjohn asks: “Are you really that much of an asshole in real life, or is it an act?”
“Sir, this is a jaded question and if I answer it, I would be a cunt, much like your mother… that said, I try to be honest on the air and onstage, so I guess its real.”

brentmcdonald asks: “When did you decide you were going to be a comedian?”
“Once I realized Mace would be used on me if I became a rapist.”

You can check out the full AMA here.

About the Author

Lucas Gardner

Lucas Gardner is a writer from Rochester, NY. He has not gone outside or spoken in three days. He has a Twitter and a blog.