Self-loathing East Coast comic Jim Norton isn't afraid to voice his opinion, whether on gigs such as the Opie & Anthony Show or Red Eye.
Even better is his standup: He's satirical, sure, but he also tells it like it is and is never afraid to point out own his flaws. (Norton on his boobs: "God, do I hate my little fat tits. You ever pinch your little meat tits and wish you were dead? You ever just stand naked in the mirror--'You little fat-titted mediocre failure!' You ever do that for three hours on New Year's Eve?" )
Jim is coming to Orange County for the first time, with his Irvine Improv shows starting tonight until
April 3 April 2. He's showcasing new material from his third comedy album, Despicable, which came out March 11.
OC Weekly: How were you late to the whole Rebecca Black phenomenon?
Jim Norton: I heard about it, and then I finally heard it, and it's just really dreadful. But she is 13, so you gotta blame the parents for overindulging her. It's like, you're 13; you don't know how much you suck. Her parents should care enough to say, "You're lousy. Don't do this."
I think it's just music in general right now. They'll slap an Auto-Tune on anyone--look at Kim Kardashian! Have you heard that trash?
No, I have not. Wait . . . maybe we did play that. We might have, actually, but I can't be sure. But I'm sure she's awful.
Let's get into awful. Who do you blame for your lack of a chin?
Probably my father. It's a genetic deformity, and I think I got it from my father, who also has an incredibly weak chin. My mother has a pretty weak chin, too, though, so I think it was both of them.
You'd be way too risqué for my parents, but do your parents ever come see you live?
Oh, yeah, they came out to see me in Atlantic City, and they just recently saw me in Montclair [New Jersey].
Do they like it? Are they ummm . . . sick?
Yeah, they have a weird sense of humor. They do like it, and I think they are just happy that I am doing something that is not drugs. They're happy I have some sort of a career.
How would you describe your comedy style?
Aggressive and honest. I'm not always right, but I try to be truthful about the way I feel.
What do you think about the whole Gilbert Gottfried thing?
It's ridiculous. Look, it's a weird balance that you have to keep. If you're working for a company that has, like, 75 percent of its business in Japan, Gilbert probably should've used more sense because you know the climate we live in. It's always comedians they go after, like you're a criminal for trying to make people laugh about something horrible. Meanwhile, the news is given carte blanche and making advertising money by showing tsunami clips. To me, that's truly despicable. It's a total double standard for comedy. We're a country of tattletales and little easily offended babies. It's embarrassing at this point.
Why do you think America is so concerned with sticking our necks out for other countries when we have a lot of Americans who could use the help first and foremost?
I think we are a very guilt-ridden country because we're doing so well. I think as a country, we are fairly compassionate, but we're also full of shit. If that makes any sense.
It does; I just wish we'd help ourselves first.
Yeah, I don't know why we do that. Like, I don't give a shit about Libya. I know it sounds horrible, but they're the people who cheered the fucking bomber when he came home. I don't hate them, but I don't care what happens. Every dollar that was wasted could've been a tax dollar not requested by the government. They could've just not fired those missiles and saved us a shitload of tax money. But we're going to keep paying for it. To stop a guy who hates us to stop killing people who hate us.
And I get to live paycheck to paycheck, so that's cool. Is there anything that is off-limits to you comically?
No, there is nothing. To me, there are no sacred cows; there is nothing.
Do you have any hidden talents we don't know about?
Ummm, I give good head. Besides that, nothing. I'm not even good at comedy, and I'm certainly not good at acting. I'd have to say none. [Laughs.] There are no gifts, even the ones people think I have I don't.
You talk shit on your looks all the time, but I am sure it's never stopped you from getting ladies, right?
I attract kooks. It's very rare that groupies want to fuck me and that they're emotionally healthy. They're usually totally nuts. There was one period where I was fucking a lot when I was in between girlfriends. It was like whoever wanted to fuck me, I would do it as long as she was fairly decent. After a while, it gets old.
Look at little Jimmy growing up! So cute.
Look, I'm still a complete pervert, but now it's just easier with one person. With groupies, it just got boring, believe it or not, because you are always on the first date. It's hard to get to know anyone sexually like that, and you don't really get what you want. The newness doesn't do it for me anymore.
I love you on Red Eye, but I have been missing you lately. Do you still enjoy being on that show?
Yeah, I love the Greg, Bill and Andy. The whole crew is phenomenal.
You're on with Ann Coulter a lot. Is it so you can have her back?
Yeah, you know, I think she's a little more twisted than people realize. She has a surprisingly good sense of humor. I've never seen her get offended at something someone has joked about ever. Ann Coulter is nuts, and I say that with affection. People probably think she has a big stick up her ass, but not at all. She doesn't give a fuck.
She doesn't bother me like SE Cupp, and they put you on a lot with her, too. The way she stares into the camera the whole time--so irritating. And the pearl necklaces? Do you give her those before the show?
[Laughs.] Believe me, if she would have me, I'd be glad to give. Just like any other woman I've done Red Eye with, she finds me sexually repugnant. [Laughs.] They all like me as a person, but sexually, they just find me repulsive.
Maybe they all saw that picture of you with only your tighty-whiteys on hiked up to your man boobs.
There are some really unflattering pictures of me out there.
You need to work on that. Why weren't you on the Comedy Central Greg Giraldo special?
I wasn't surprised; they never have me on anything. I like the guys over there. They're nice people, but I guess they didn't think I was suitable to be asked about Giraldo. I don't know why.
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Well, OC Weekly thinks you're suitable, so what would you have said?
Just that he was a great guy. It's sad to watch someone self-destruct. It wasn't surprising, but it was depressing. I really admired him as a comic and as a guy. I just wish he would've gotten his shit together.
What do you think people will say about you after you die from a male prostitute fucking you to death?
They'll probably say, "Wow! What a big smile Jim has!" I'd like to be remembered as a great comic. I'm not saying I am one now, but I'd like to get there. I still have weaknesses, but I'd like people to think that about me one day.
Way to sell yourself. Why should people come out to see you at the Irvine Improv?
It's a good hour of material that I am really happy with. I attack Americans and how we are obsessed with privacy, airport security, Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson--a lot of current-events stuff. I mean, Tiger's not really topical, but it's the privacy issues. There is a lot about my own sex life and a lot about my dysfunctional relationships. It's really about what's going on in my life. Oh, I love attacking people. It feels wonderful.
You can follow Jim Norton on Twitter @JimNorton, and see more of him and pick up some CDs and books on his website. Also, get your tickets now to see Jim at the Irvine Improv, 71 Fortune Dr., Irvine. Tonight, March 31, through
Sunday, April 3 Saturday, April 2. Contact venue for show times and ticket prices. For tickets, call (949) 854-5455 or go to www.improv.com. 21+.