Norm Macdonald Interview at Sixth & I (2016)

In 2014, Norm Macdonald turns down a publisher’s offer for him to write a memoir.

A memoir is “one step below instruction manuals,” Norm says.

Instead, Norm decides to chill on a Canadian farm for two years.

He returns with a manuscript that’s part comedy, part Greek tragedy, and 100% unclassifiable.

When the world tried to pin down if this was his celebrity memoir, Norm’s says:

“Call it anything you damn like.”

The interview below takes place September 22, 2016 at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington D.C.

Norm’s book “Based on a True Story: A Memoir” had come out 2 days earlier.

Interview with Norm Macdonald about his book “Based on a True Story: A Memoir”

I know the video quality of this sucks — sorry but I didn’t make it. The audio (decent) is what counts anyway. -Rob

There are two videos of this interview I’ve found on this Norm interview:


  • My Rating: 97/100
  • IMDB Rating: na/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: na /100 (Users); na/100 (Critics)

My Favorite Parts of the Norm Interview

Here are some my favorite moments (including quotes) from the Norm interview:

  1. Norm reading “The Tiny White Coffin” story from his book (mentioned in multiple comments as a highlight)
  2. Norm explaining the origin of his famous “Moth Joke” (around 16:05) — he took a 20-second joke from Colin Quinn and expanded it to a 7-minute Moth Joke he did on Conan O’Brien.
  3. Norm’s line “You can’t get into heaven without Jesus Christ” getting a laugh
  4. Norm’s joke about taking “fistfuls of acid” and his doctor being a purple dog (around 1:05:00)
  5. An audience member asking Norm a “Jew joke” and Norm delivering the punchline (around 51:00)
  6. Funny Norm quote about picking material for his book: “Most of your life is finding and eating food…which doesn’t make for a great read”.
  7. Norm’s self-deprecating and humble quips, endearing him to the audience
  8. Norm’s funny and insightful takes on the meaning of life and philosophical musings
  9. Norm’s story about his early days in comedy and dropping out of school (around 19:00)
  10. Norm skillfully winning over the interviewer, who seems initially uncomfortable but grows to enjoy the exchange
  11. Norm’s poignant reflections when reading book excerpts (especially around 37:00 and 42:00)
  12. Norm casually telling the “greatest joke in the history of mankind” after realizing he’s on for a second segment (a comment referencing a Conan appearance)
  13. Norm panicking and telling the baby seal clubbing story because he needs more material
  14. Norm’s funny comment “Aren’t you a fucking writer!?” to the interviewer
  15. The story at the end of the interview sounding like a self-eulogy in retrospect
  16. Norm recalls how he was the last standup act on Dave Letterman show.

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc