Norm Macdonald packs 8-min. show into half-hour

“Sports Show WIth Norm Macdonald” premiered on Comedy Central on April 12, and the first eight minutes — with the former “Saturday Night Live” “Weekend Update” host riffing on the sports weekend — had their moments.

If only the show had ended there.

Instead, “Sports Show” dragged on for a full half-hour, packing about 6 1/2 minutes of comedy into 21 minutes of content.

As TV goes, that’s not much of a bargain.

Macdonald certainly has a fearless quality, willing to joke about things like the Special Olympics and a jockey committing domestic violence. (All his wife’s injuries were on her legs. Get it? He’s short.)

Still, he wound up obviously padding out the program with a taped bit involving Clippers rookie Blake Griffin and a long, tired take on Tiger Woods’ infidelity — the gist being that since the golfer could have slept with even more women, he was relatively faithful, percentage-wise.

Macdonald is an unorthodox talent, and he certainly has his share of fans. Those hunkering for a spoof of TV’s infatuation with sports, however, are in much better hands with “Onion SportsDome,” a more direct hit on ESPN’s bombastic “SportsCenter.”

Macdonald also remains somewhat famous for having been fired off “Weekend Update” by then-NBC West Coast chief Don Ohlmeyer, who told everyone who would listen he didn’t think the guy was particularly funny (and, being a friend of O.J. Simpson, wasn’t thrilled by how many gags the comic told at his old pal’s expense).

“Sports Show” can probably hang around for awhile on Comedy Central, but based on everything after the opening “Update”-type segment, there’s reasonable cause to cancel the guy all over again.


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  1. Will says:

    It just seems kind of absurd that you’re calling for cancellation, and recommending that people turn into SportsDome instead, after one episode. How about breaking the show down into what seems promising, and what should be abandoned? What appears to be likely recurring bits? What it will struggle with on a week-to-week basis? In other words, actual analysis and a thoughtful review instead of loud, empty proclamations.

  2. Mark O'Brien says:

    I am not really a Norm fan but you could not have been watching the same show. I’m not sure I have seen a show with more jokes. did you not watch the 4th act where he did a run of pure jokes with no production support whatsoever? There must have been 15 jokes in there.
    And the “padding” that is the Blake Griffin piece is killing it online. The NBA put it on youtube.
    It is apparent that comedy is not your thing (you should have stopped using “spoof” when you turned 50) but at least be objective.

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