I’m not big on biographies or auto-biographies. The list of people in the world who have led lives interesting enough to fill 250+ pages with stories that I might be interested in is very short, and I feel as though perhaps you need to already be fascinated by someone in order to enjoy their auto-bio. Typically, these turn into masturbatory affairs, with folks making really big deals out of anecdotes that would probably fall flat outside of a barroom chat. Generally speaking, I’d rather read a decent novel than page after page of some comedian trying to explain how they got the way that they are.
I’m fairly sure that Norm MacDonald feels the same way I do about this matter. In writing Based on a True Story: A Memoir, he’s expended considerable effort in constructing an absolutely glorious pile of mockery aimed squarely at just this kind of navel-gazing horseshit, and in doing so he’s written possibly the greatest memoir of all time.
Virtually nothing you’ll read in this memoir is true. I expect that some of the facts are accurate, but for the most part, it’s absolute hooey. And somewhere in that hooey are hidden the most profound truths imaginable!
You will learn nothing of Norm’s life that could be considered credible. And who cares? Why should you know anything about anybody’s life outside of your own family and friends? What you will find in Norm’s book are deeply amusing tall tales, distinctly Norm-voiced prose, and re-tellings of some of his finest long-form “jokes”.
The most famous of these (that I’m aware of) is “The Moth Joke”, which Based on a True Story features in its entirety. It is amazing. You can watch Norm tell this joke on Conan O’Brien’s show here:
In fact, that whole book is so good. I don’t want to spoil too much of it. If you’re aware of Norm MacDonald, you’ve already made up your mind about him. Some people hate him. My dad hates him! Then there are those of us that believe that Norm is one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time.
This book is a worthy representation of the dark brilliance of Norm MacDonald’s comedy. There isn’t much more for me to say.
But I can post Norm MacDonald clips!
If Norm MacDonald’s twitter feed is any indication, he has once again become consumed by the demon that is his gambling addiction and is betting all profits gained from this book on losing teams in sporting matches. He’s also devil’s advocating Trump opponents into hating him. Get well soon, Norm.