Norm MacDonald, Ridiculous

Jay Ruttenberg

By Jay Ruttenberg

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


Norm MacDonald
Sophomoric sketch comedy that’s smarter than it lets on.

This former Saturday Night Live news anchor — famously canned by NBC brass — is a terrible actor and a so-so stand-up. Given the right format, however, he adds a strange and often dark edge to what can seem like beer-swilling-guy material. Ridiculous consists almost entirely of sketch comedy, performed with guests including Artie Lange, Tim Meadows and Will Ferrell. As with Adam Sandler's underrated recorded oeuvre, the album is unapologetically sophomoric — gay sex is a persistent punch line — but it's smarter than it lets on. MacDonald has always seemed older than his years, a leftover piece of '50s culture. No surprise, then, that the best bit here may be "Stan & Lois," a great Superman parody in which MacDonald's sportswriter tries to bed Lois Lane by convincing the brunette that he, not Clark Kent, is Superman. "Actually," he tells Lois, "the Fortress of Solitude is in a room at the Y."