Based on a True Story by Norm Macdonald
Norm Macdonald had a book. E-I-E-I-O.
I always essentially liked Norm Macdonald. I never said he was my favorite SNL alum, but his dry delivery always got me.
But, Based on a True Story wasn’t a hit for me. Though I recognize it as an ambitious piece, I never could quite grasp what it was. The fiction and non-fiction seemed to flow together in a way that never let me know which was which. Here are some stories in the book, and whether or not they seemed true:
- Was his audition at SNL really Norm just giving Loren Michaels drugs? Probably not?
- Did Norm have a huge crush on Sarah Silverman? Seems Plausible.
- Did he really gamble and lose a million dollars with the plan of killing himself? Probably not, right.
- Were the SNL stories about handsome male actors thinking their funny true? I think so.
- Were the dozens of Weekend Update jokes he listed he wrote real? Yes.
So how do all of these things go in the same book? I felt like I was constantly trying to find my footing, how to enjoy this book. Ultimately, I feel like Norm was just spinning a yarn, but it’s so absurd and confusing, that it’s not fun to read. Some of the jokes made me laugh, but not many. I still have a lot of respect for Norm Macdonald, but this book didn’t do it for me.
Maybe should have given up on this book and not finished it, but I figured I might as well see it through. My first read of 2018 turned out to be disappointing, but more to come.