DAVID BIANCULLI

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NORM MACDONALD HAS A SHOW
September 14, 2018  | By David Bianculli

Netflix, 3:00 a.m. ET

 

SERIES PREMIERE: Norm Macdonald, at the moment, is a somewhat polarizing and controversial figure. But this new series, whose executive producers (and one of its Season 1 guests) include David Letterman, can be judged on its own merits. As such, as a talk show with only a handful of studio colleagues and workers as witnesses, and with one guest per episode, Norm Macdonald Has a Show isn’t very good. The host has a quick comic mind, but he’s not a good interviewer, period. The guest for the premiere show, David Spade, ends up asking suspiciously, “Is this a test show?” – and when David Spade smells failure, you know you’re in trouble. Letterman doesn’t even shine here, while he does just that on his own Netflix talk show, and Drew Barrymore is too eager to fill the voids – of which there are many. The Barrymore show, however, provided the only moment of this new series where I laughed out loud. MacDonald mentioned that as part of his travels, he had honored a local culinary custom in Bangkok and eaten a monkey’s brain. When Barrymore asked how it tasted, Macdonald replied, in his classically dismissive deadpan, “Mine was stupid.”

 
 
 
 
 
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