With his comedy special Please Be Offended out on Netflix, Jim Norton has taken to the road again with all new material. He called in from New York before leaving for his weekend of shows at the Addison Improv, and he actually sounded rested. He'd had a nap, apparently.
Waking up for Opie & Anthony every weekday must take its toll. The hit radio show runs from 6 to 10 a.m., and it's the earliest job the insomniac's ever had. Sometimes he rolls into the studio on two hours of sleep. The life of a comedian is a hard one. But it's paying off: He sold out shows in places he'd never been before, including Toronto.
Looking at ads for Norton's stand-up shows, most feature a one sentence warning to potential audience members: "This show is not for the easily offended."
"Was it your idea to put that there?" I asked him.
"No, but I think that they've learned," he said. "Which is good, 'cause it takes away their right to complain. I find when most people are offended, it's phony. It's an attention-seeking device. So I love to call them out on it from stage."
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"I'm always shocked over what offends people," I said. "Am I weird 'cause I'm not offended?"
"We're a hyper-sensitive country," he said. But he isn't on stage trying to offend. He just talks about what he thinks is funny. "I talk a little bit about the hurricane here in New York, I talk about John Travolta getting sued, the riots in Libya. And, of course, my own sexual addiction -- which people have come to expect."
Well, now we are.
Norton will be at the Addison Improv this weekend, and tickets are available online. Bonus? He'll be on hand after the show for a meet and greet at his own merch table. Just try and offend him.