Norm (TV Series 1999–2001) Poster

(1999–2001)

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Funny, funny, funny...
Manos-625 March 1999
The Norm Show is gonna be a big hit. Trust me. This has everything a sit-com should have. Great acting, funny humor, originality, and... well that's about all it needs. Norm MacDonald's monotonical jokes hit you dead on, and Laurie Metcalf is great as the leading actress on the show. But still, Norm MacDonald is the highlight of the show. He doesn't even have to make a joke to get you laughing. Though it is kind of unrealistic, with Norm being an ex-hockey-player-turned-social worker, but that's just part of the originality. Everyone will love this show after watching just one episode, so I think it'll be around for a while.
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A gem; relationship shows are never this funny
liquidcelluloid-15 August 2004
Network: ABC; Genre: Sitcom; Content Rating: TV-14 (for language and crude & sexual humor); Classification: contemporary (Star range: 1 - 4)

Season Reviewed: Complete Series (3 seasons)

After a high profile bouncing from the Weekend Update desk on 'Saturday Nigh Live' the irrepressible Norm MacDonald was able to land softly in this, his own self-titled series for ABC. From creators Deborah Oppenheimer and Bruce Helford ('The Drew Carey Show'), 'The Norm Show' is a sitcom that is very much in touch with the specific sense of humor of its lead and knows how to best convey it. This show is what 'Drew Carey' could have been had it not evolved into a self-indulgent star vehicle in the final seasons.

MacDonald plays Norm Henderson, a former hockey player sent into community service after being busted on gambling charges. The plot is just thin enough for any number of possible gags. He is kept in line by dedicated public servant (Laurie Metcalf) and constantly making a fool of his incredulous supervisor Denby (Max Wright, 'Alf'). Ian Gomez ('The Drew Carey Show') and joining later Nikki Cox ('Unhappily Ever After') and Faith Ford ('Murphy Brown') do a fine job keeping up with the shows bounding energy, but it's character-named leads MacDonald, Metcalf and Wright that are run the show.

'Norm' feels like it was poured out of MacDonald's head. Too often funny comedians come into a sitcom and flounder around, muffled by its trappings. But MacDonald finds himself right at home here. Through the years the episodes have some bizarre and creative plots that push the boundaries of reality. The crude humor is piled high and thick, but McDonald is able to turn the oldest gags into an honest laugh with his trademark deadpan comic delivery. His touch is everywhere. MacDonald has never been funnier and sitcom veterans Metcalf (criminally underrated in everything she does) and Wright fall into his twisted groove perfectly.

'Norm' is a relationship series through and through with all the usual trappings. It has a preoccupation with dating, sex and bed-hopping amongst its ensemble that would turn the head of even the biggest 'Friends' fan. As a relationship show it is peerlessly funny. But while the show's crude humor and office comedy elements work well, it never convinced me that it needs to be a relationship comedy. Do we really need Norm and co. going through some contrived love-lorn drama? And do we really believe MacDonald when proclaims to be 'in love' with someone he met that week? Particularly when he does it in the exact same dry, monotonous voice that serves the jokes so well, but is impossible to take seriously. This is a regrettable kink in the armor for me. And it doesn't help that ABC shuttled this show out the door with nary a whisper in its final season.

Most of the time, however, 'Norm' does it right and rises above the usual banality of this material. It lacks any pretension about itself and is refreshingly free of the melodrama that bogs down most shows of this ilk. Its purpose, first and foremost, is a giddy laugh. It is the crude, sex comedy in near top form where so many other shows fall flat. It aims low but it gets the job done.

'Norm' doesn't break the mold of the sitcom and try anything revolutionary, but within this mold (the one-liners, the put-upon boss, the cute wiener dog stealing the show, and the typical office & apartment setting) 'Norm' fills out the genre, stretching it to the limits and, best of all, getting genuine laugh-out-loud belly laughs. On a side note, the original "wrecking ball" opening sequence is, I think, a modest classic among intros.

Here's one of the highest compliments you can give. 'Norm' makes me wonder why so many traditional sitcoms flail about in such embarrassing desperation to get the slightest laugh. McDonald makes it all look effortless. It just shows what great casting, performers willing to dive head-first into the material, and exceptional comic delivery can do for you. A silly, mindless and truly hysterically funny series. Its hard to ask for anything more in this type of show.

* * * / 4
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Beats the hell out of other ABC shows
Op_Prime26 December 1999
This show is great and Norm MacDonald is very, very funny. I consider it an equal to The Drew Carey Show, if not a superior. I recall many wondering if Norm could bounce back from Dirty Work's failure and it seems he has, rejuvenating his career. Seeing him on SNL, I didn't know what to expect from Norm on this show. But I'm happy with the results. I doubt ABC will cancel it anytime soon.
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Funny guy, standard sitcom
Hotoil13 January 2001
Norm MacDonald is a funny man. He really shined as Weekend Update anchor on SNL and it was a shame when NBC canned him (especially after seeing the unfunny anchors that followed). He was even funnier when he did the talk-show circuit, where he would always crack up hosts and audiences with his off-the-wall improvisational wit. Now giving him his own show is a great idea, but not if your just using his name and presence without really utilizing his talents.

What they've done here is stick Norm Macdonald in a really run-of-the-mill sitcom. Granted, it may be one of the better sitcoms, but it's a sitcom nonetheless. And if you've got half a brain and have seen the comedies of the past, you'll notice there is nothing new here. Old jokes, old situations, little substance. It's a cookie-cut genre that takes Norm's humor for granted.

If one positive thing has arisen from the series, it has been keeping Norm in the spotlight so he continues to pop up on late-night TV to promote it, therefore setting the stange for classic spontaneous Normisms!
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9/10
An absolute ABC classic!
Catherine_Grace_Zeh14 August 2008
"THE NORM SHOW," in my opinion, is an absolute ABC classic! I haven't seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. It's hard to say which episode was my favorite. However, I think it was always funny when a mishap occurred. I always laughed at that. In addition, I really loved the theme song. Despite the fact that it was a short-lived series, it was nice that all of the main characters had stayed with the show throughout its entire run. It seems that no one stays with a show throughout its entire run. Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, I hope someone brings it back on the air for fans of the show to see.
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Amazing. An American sitcom which is actually funny.
DanPacino4 February 2002
'The Norm Show' (a.k.a Norm) is, without a doubt. One of the funniest, if not the funniest American sitcom I have had the pleasure to witness.

I have found that almost all 1990's American sitcoms have been complete and utter crap (with the possible exception of all the animated ones). One only needs to watch a few episodes of the horrible 'Friends' or the disgustingly dull 'Everyone loves Raymond' to know that the humour in these shows is very thin and the characters are all very easy to hate. Then came Dharma and Greg - Possibly the worst Television show ever conceived. It was looking pretty bad for American T.V.

But, alas. American sitcoms had a saviour and it came in the form of a Canadian. The stylistic wit and sometimes un-p.c japes of Norm MacDonald have given me hope for American TV. If only more sitcoms were like this.

Long live Norm and his Weiner Dog!
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10/10
get this show out on DVD
drawler28 August 2006
ABOUT TIME THIS SHOW WAS ON DVD. Pretty much the best comedy to come out of America since cheers and the simpsons.

Fantastic FUNNY gags. The writing is excellent. Brilliant deadpan delivery. The cast are fantastic. Cutting edge humour abounds. Often on the verge of politically incorrectness, it pushes the boundary every now an then.

Has been unfairly treated by network executives in the us and the uk who don't understand comedy. They wouldn't know good comedy if it jumped up and tickled them in the ribs.

Why was it ever cancelled? No other comedy makes me smile and laugh as much as Norm/The Norm Show. Its time to get this out on DVD and for everyone to re-appraise it.
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This funny show deserves longevity
4-Kane23 December 2000
I've been watching "Norm" since its debut in 1999, and haven't stopped watching it. I think it's one of the most underrated shows, and one of the funniest shows (if not THE funniest show) on the air.

One of my favorite episodes is the one where Danny's father dies, and Danny discovers that his dad was gay. Another hilarious one is where Danny gets a toupee. These episodes prove that "Norm" IS funny.

The cast is clever, consisting of supporting actors/actresses who were in other series: Max Wright ("ALF"), Faith Ford ("Murphy Brown"), Laurie Metcalf ("Roseanne"), and Ian Gomez ("Drew Carey Show" and "Felicity") to name a few.

Leaving "Saturday Night Live" to do "Norm" was a smart move for Norm MacDonald. And there is little that I would like better than to see this series obtain longevity. It deserves a good, long run. And I would honestly like to see "Norm" stay on the air for at least five or six years.
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Laurie Metcalf is Hilarious...
T-Pain2 September 2000
I love this show and I hope it stays on for at least a few more years. I think it's superior to Drew Carrey, which is also a great show. While, Norm is indeed wonderful, Laurie Metcalf (the sister from "Roseanne") steals the show. She's perfect for a show like this. Good sitcom-y fun.
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One of the best sitcoms ever.
O2D25 April 2017
Norm MacDonald has always been underrated and misunderstood.He's one of the funniest people who ever lived and this show proves it. The series starts with Nikki Cox guest starring and they make you think she will be a regular but she just leaves. Early in the first season they realize the character of Norm's boss is going nowhere and they incorporate him leaving into an episode(although we never actually see him).Then they make the greatest decision ever,they bring in Max Wright as Max Denby and they have the formula for a great show. The second season sees the show change it's name.They also change the name of the bar they hang out in,although the exterior and interior appear to be the same.Nikki Cox returns, Faith Ford joins the cast and the show just gets better. The Norm Show(Norm) ran for 3 seasons and had 4 different opening sequences but weirdly,they used the exact same clip of a white van almost every time they needed a transition clip. The third season sees two very odd changes.The transition clips start to feature a guy scatting and they start dressing Laurie like a mentally challenged gypsy.I have recently found two other shows where the main female character started dressing completely different(usually almost always the same clothes,just different colors) in the third season,Still Standing and My Hero. I could talk about Norm all day but I won't.
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9/10
O how i miss this show
rekolde5 October 2006
i haven't gotten to see this show since it went off the air, but i think of it now and then. norm Macdonald is both hilarious and a sex god. that's a REAL man.

i liked laughing until i peed myself every time i watched this show. you wouldn't think the premise would be so good, but the cast made this show work. or maybe that i was (and maybe some other citizens are) forced to do work we don't really want to do, and we like to laugh at someone else trying not too hard to fit in.

so this show is out on DVD? i must find it. now, would somebody also put "Open All Night" on DVD, and "Becker" too??? Please????
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Possibly the funniest show ever.
bigdude10114 January 2005
Norm McDonald is hilarious, he can't act, but he's hilarious. Facial expressions, one liners, flopped lines, hilarious. I'm sure he could walk into a wake and have everybody in stitches within minutes.

The shows premise had Norm working against his will as a counciler, insulting his clients, co-workers and superior. The majority of the costars acted as straight men (or people) that help set up Norms one liners, and then he'd continue with the jokes. His boss was mostly the brunt of his jokes, but then again he should have been used to it. He was once a straight man for ALF (Yo Willy!!!!).

It was the one sitcom that I'd be anxious to watch, but it suddenly disappeared.
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Norm Rocks
tomcat_alley12 June 2006
i first became aware of the norm show a few years ago when it was being shown on channel 4 on Friday nights at 3am, i only bothered to watch it as it was scheduled after drew Carey and Meego, and I'm a big fan of both. however it ended up with me staying up all night to watch norm every week with the others being more of a warm up.

because of this show I'm now a huge norm MacDonald fan and I've collected all his films including the doctor Doolittle movies which i think are rubbish but i had to have just for Lucky's witty normistic attitude.

for those of you new to "norm" look out for the scene of norm giving Mr Denby a lift on his bike....

my favourite quotes...

1. Norm - "I Didn't say Mr Daddy, i Said Mr Daddy" 2. Norm - "I Knew if i did something selfless I'D get something out of it" 3. Shelly - "If You Painted This By yourself Then do Another one!"

Norm - "Okay, I Think This One Should Be A Nude, Strip!"
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9/10
Victim of the Millionaire Monster
rageistruth13 January 2003
This show was funny when it debuted, but it didn't really take off until the second season. In my opinion, ABC had something here that could have surpassed "The Drew Carey Show," but unfortunately the timing was all wrong. "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" exploded onto the television scene (for reasons I still cannot understand) and all of a sudden ABC forgot about everything else. The network made it nearly impossible to watch Norm. TV Guide would list it on Friday at 9pm, so you'd tune in only to see Regis' evil, smiling face, mocking you. Sometime during the week ABC had decided to move Norm to 8pm and Millionaire to 9pm. Hey, you missed Norm, tough luck! So the next week you tune in at 8 pm but there's REGIS again! A special 90-minute Millionaire followed by Norm at 9:30. At least you get to see it. Next week - a two hour Millionaire and Norm is never heard from again. ABC rides Regis for all he's worth and now they're consistently beaten in the ratings because they have no proven quality shows. Cry me a river, ABC.
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my new favorite tv show
AngieS7 July 1999
Who knew that Norm's departure from SNL would be a blessing in disguise. This show lets Norm be the star...finally! I love it. I've turned many TV-haters into fans of this show by forcing them to watch it just once. Yes, it's that good.
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Norm is a wonderful and filthy man!! Cheers!
BigErn3 April 1999
The Norm Show is the best show on television. I had stopped watching TV a year ago and when i heard Norm was coming to the little screen, I had to go back. It's more hilarious than I ever imagined and I'm glad others do too -- I thought it would get canceled, just by virtue of it being Norm and all. Anyway, I'm glad he's doing well and all I have to say is Viva La Norm!!

Cheers,

Jon
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Wow! It's actually good.
Bogue-225 March 1999
Now, I know that a lot of people didn't like Dirty Work, but for those who did watch this show. Norm McDonald's a former hockey player who is forced to become a social worker as part of his community service for tax evasion and gambling. I was expecting his character to be watered down and be an okay guy, but he comes across as being a selfish jerk which was a pleasant surprise. Check this show out before it gets canceled.
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Classic Norm
brent-1114 February 2001
I was excited to hear this show was going to air, I had high expectations, and was not disappointed. Unfortunately, the networks keep moving the time slot around and it's getting buried. If they stuck to one time slot, it would become another Seinfield, only funny.

With the addition of Ian Gomez, it became painfully hilarious to watch, and will easily survive with the loss of Nikki Cox.
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Same old, lame old.
stickman-325 March 1999
This is the one show I had high hopes for this mid season, but even with it's well seasoned cast, "the Norm Show" failed to be spicy. I was hoping the writing on the show would match his routine on SNL but the show turned out to be a boring, dull, tired half hour trash fest not fit for the likes of Jerry Springer, with its only moderately funny and utterly tasteless jokes about prostitutes and sodomy. Better luck next time, Norm.
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YES! Best sitcom to come out of America since Larry Sanders
fenney_4511 June 2000
Channel 4 has just started showing Norm over here in the UK, only on late nights, but it's pretty darn good. And to think, I nearly went to bed! This is easily better than any other American sitcom I can think of, except Larry Sanders.
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what a show
barry-5610 September 1999
The show everyone it's calling the comedy of 1999 has returns to kick-off their 2nd season. Norm (Dirty Work) plays this retard of a social worker, and to be honest I wonder what's going to fly out his mouth next.
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This show is sure to be a hit!!
Geoff-5224 March 1999
I have just watched the pilot, and I am positive that this show will be a hit. I am a big Norm Macdonald fan, and could not stop laughing during the pilot. This show is Norm at his best. If you liked "Dirty Work", or Norm on SNL, then give this show a chance. One of the funniest lines on the show is when he (Norm) is trying to convince a young call girl to stop turning tricks. After Laurie Metcalf told the girl that nothing is sadder than a seventy year-old prostitute, Norm replies "yeah, you don't want to have to take your teeth out 30-40 times a day". Long live Norm!!
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8/10
very funny
knifeintheeye14 March 2006
I recently grabbed an old VHS I had in my closet and popped it in. On that tape were about 12 episodes from this series. I had forgotten how funny it was. I'm glad I saved the tape.

It's humour was far from highbrow though--much closer to Married With Children and The War At Home. Norm always makes me laugh--even in his weird cheese sitcom that came out years later.

Release this series on DVD please. With all the crap releases we see all the time, there has got to be room for this show. Just a few special features are needed. I'd be happy to have it near bare bones even, like Newsradio is doing. Just release it on the DVD format.
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Not a major disappointment...a Colonel disappointment.
rick-20412 May 1999
I am also a big fan of Norm MacDonald, and I phoned a friend to let him know this show was going to air several Wednesdays ago.

Unfortunately, I had to call him back and apologize.

I still like Norm's work...but it's as if he's performing in a huge pool of Maple Syrup (chauvinist pun intended). The few bright moments of dialogue ("You can't take my dog!" "We can take CHILDREN"!) are totally lost in the banality of the rest of the writing.

Not even Doug and the Slugs could save this one.
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