Netflix’s newest talk show, Norm Macdonald Has a Show, is brilliant in its laziness. There’s no introduction (you actually just see him and his cohost walk onto set with the guest), there’s no fanfare, no audience, no real execution, the set itself barely exists.
Anyone who’s a fan of Macdonald knows all of it fits the bill. After all, we’re talking about the guy who told nothing but corny and old-fashioned jokes at the 2008 Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget, which, by the way, will never be topped in hilarity.
In the new show, Norm Macdonald brings a great slate of interesting guests, many of whom are friends, and asks random questions, often interrupting them in order to sneak in quip or non sequitur. None of it is especially revealing nor are they consistent with laughable moments. But that is exactly the point: Norm Macdonald has never trafficked in pandering, that can be certain.
All of that is to say that Norm Macdonald Has a Show is the best that Netflix has done so far in the “talk show” realm. (They recently pulled Michelle Wolfe’s attempt.) I think it works that all of the episodes are dumped at once unlike Letterman’s, who released one per month and made it all the more easy to forget that the show existed despite being well received.
And let me define “best” from above. Norm Macdonald is still Norm Macdonald. He’s hilarious no matter the context. A particularly favorite recurring bit comes at the end of each episode where Norm, his co-host Adam Eget (who really has no purpose to be there, making it all the more funny that he is), and that episode’s guest taking turns reading corny, old-fashioned jokes off of cards that have been written beforehand. It’s something that shouldn’t work, doesn’t work, and because of all that, works.
I’m guilty of liking everything Norm Macdonald, so maybe I’m not the person to ask. But this show is good for Netflix, especially if you like Norm Macdonald and the fact that he has a show.