When comedian Jim Norton comes through Harrisburg for a pair of shows on both Friday and Saturday night to work out his material for his upcoming comedy special, be prepared to laugh, cringe and laugh a whole lot more. No topics are off the table and no joke is “too soon.”
“If the news is going to talk about it, why shouldn’t comedians? It’s never too soon, that’s what humor is for,” Norton said in a recent phone interview. “I address kind of what’s happening in the country and I talk a lot about privacy and some people sniveling about their privacy so it kind of ties into a lot of the celebrity f**k ups that have happened.”
Norton is not your average stand-up comic. He’s written two books that made The New York Times Best Seller list; he’s had his own HBO special, Down and Dirty with Jim Norton; he’s a regular correspondent on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno; he has his own radio show on Sirius/XM satellite radio’s Boneyard channel; and he has been a co-host of the wildly popular Opie and Anthony Show since 2009.
Before mentioning his comedy CDs, movie cameos or stand-up tours, Jim Norton would appear to most of us as the busiest man in comedy. Don’t expect him to agree.
“I really do feel like a lazy failure and I kinda want to shoot myself most of the time because I want to do a TV show, I want to do another book,” Norton said. “You always feel like you want to be doing something else.”
Norton’s first book Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch reaching #4 on The New York Times Best Seller list, his HBO special and first Tonight Show appearance stick out as his ‘wow’ moments, but co-hosting Opie and Anthony has been the most fun.
“Those guys have been so good to me. It’s the most fun I’ve had in my career, I never get bored of it,” Norton said. “It’s mean, we can say whatever we want but we also do ‘smart’ interviews and we’re not d***s for no reason.”
Norton was a regular guest on the show until he ended up in jail for reporting back to the radio show from the Voyeur Bus, which had coincidentally been riding the same route as President Clinton’s planned Manhattan parade route.
“We didn’t even know he was in town. Apparently he had a parade route and I was on a bus with a bunch of naked chicks and Lewis Black,” Norton said. “Me and Lewis Black spent the night in jail. It really did suck, and we were both jonesing for cigarettes at the time but in hindsight it made me a regular on the show, a permanent regular, so it worked out ok.”
So what should you expect at Jim Norton’s show?
“I’m honest. I talk about Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and what’s happened with these guys and I relate honestly to them,” Norton said. “As a comedian, I like to s**t on people but I also like to throw myself under the bus while I’m at it.”
And if you were wondering, Norton probably won’t pass up the opportunity to crack Jerry Sandusky jokes in Pennsylvania.
“My opinion of Sandusky is that he’s a piece of s**t and he deserves to be made fun of,” Norton said. “I heard that interview Bob Costas did, he just sounds like a f****n creep. Really, horseplay? That’s an excuse they used in the 1940s. F****n horseplay.”
Jim Norton speaks the truth. I’m sold.
Tickets for the Friday and Saturday shows are only $20 and are still available online.
The Harrisburg Comedy Zone is located off of the Limekiln Road exit in New Cumberland.