Jim Norton pulls no punches in return to stand-up albums.
By Michael Shashoua / Editor-in-Chief
After two substantial comedy books, Jim Norton is back with his third
stand-up album, “Despicable,” released March 8, which gleefully lives up
to its title.
Norton is raw and says wrong things – crossing way over the line at
every turn. But he does so skillfully and with an undeniable force of
Just what is that personality? If it’s not a total cliché to think that
stand-ups channel deep-seated anger through their acts (male ones,
anyway), Norton is a prime example of this. It’s his choice of targets
for that hostility that make his material catch fire, though.
Paul McCartney’s maligned ex-wife Heather Mills ends up in Norton’s
crosshairs, with some very crude remarks about how she deserves to die
for not making marriage to a Beatle work. But something about Norton’s
delivery communicates this is only for effect – or at least he’s not
advocating that someone go out and make that happen, to be exact.
Norton also scores direct hits on odd choices from the pop culture
landscape, like televised poker tournaments, and “March of the
Penguins,” for their inanity, as he sees it. And Norton unabashedly
reveals his twisted mind as he describes how he once posed as mentally
handicapped – an easy acting job considering his appearance – so he
could get a snapshot with Laura Bush. (This is part of his hobby of
collecting photo of himself with celebrities and public figures).
For Norton’s sheer attitude as a performer, alone, “Despicable” is a
must-have comedy album.