(Note: This is a repost of the original)
Allow me to share with you some revelations I’ve had about Norm MacDonald and Neil Young.
Both of these gentlemen are Canadian entertainers who have a rabid fan base, neither of whom I have enjoyed in the past.
In fact I would say that I actively disliked them. In the case of Norm MacDonald I particularly detested his stammering delivery of non jokes that he tries to get you to laugh at by blinking you into submission. I seemed to be the only comedian in the world who was happy he got shit canned from SNL. All of my friends love this guy and his appeal was lost on me completely.
“Germans love David Hasslehoff do they, Norm? Huh. Fascinating. You know what else is fascinating? Writing jokes. Try it Norm.”
In fact my dislike of Norm was so intense, I actually SAW him in a Sports memorabilia store in LA, and I didn’t even go over and say hello or ask for an autograph.
And look at Neil Young. Take a good look at this picture….
Spare some change today, sir?
This guy is supposed to be one of the greats and I just couldn’t stand him. “You want to see a Neil Young concert?” I’d say to my pals, “ Go find a homeless guy on the street, and poke him with a stick until he starts whining. Sounds the same, looks the same…hell probably even smells the same.” Admit it, if you saw this guy anywhere near your kid’s school, you’d call the cops.
I was content with my smug hipster douchebag pronouncements for the longest time. Neil and Norm sucked, and that was that. And then something unexpected happened.
I started hearing other bands cover Neil Young songs. And sure enough, every time I did, it threw me for a loop. These were not just good songs, these were awesome songs. I was jumping around like a madman when I saw the Trews cover “Keep on Rocking in the Free World.” Hell I even dig the cheesy Prelude version of “After the Goldrush” . Not to mention all the amazing work with Buffalo Springfield, “For What it’s worth” being a personal fav. These are really profound, thoughtful, interesting songs, that musically kick some serious ass.
At the same time I started seeing some of the stuff Norm was doing and was forced to admit it was not just funny, it might even be a strange kind of genius. I finally started to get the idea that the lame duck routine was just that…a routine. His Conan appearances were always classics. His roasting of Bob Saget with horribly lame and tame roast jokes was hysterical and incredibly ballsy.And he played it so straight that somewhere, miles away in his posh estate, Bob Newhart got a shiver and didn’t quite know why. Adam Corrolla’s version of Death on Family Guy doesn’t even come close to Norm’s. And his latest appearance on Conan with the gift basket was savage and razor sharp.
And yet, despite these new perspectives, when one or the other appears on tv or the radio I fight the urge to switch the channel immediately.
So what’s the problem? What do these two have in common? I narrowed it down to one thing.
It’s the voice.
I can’t stand Neil Young’s whine, and I can’t stand Norm’s weird bleating circuitous delivery. So much so that it impedes my ability to enjoy their own particular brands of genius
“There was baaaaaaannnd playing in my heeeeeaaaadddd”
“Heeeey you know there uh Conan, I uhh found out something about camels…you know ehhh yeah yeah… they uh…they have HUGE COCKS” (Blink Blink)
So, I hereby state for the record that I acknowledge that Neil Young is a rock icon, brilliant songwriter and a National Treasure. I also admit that Norm MacDonald is a warped genius, and innovative wise ass that deserves his rabid cult following.
And I will still only be able to listen to them in small doses.
So the only question that remains for you, dear Correctness reader is this…Where the hell do I, an ardent Rush fan, get off complaining about someone’s VOICE?
P.S. Look up Norm’s latest visit to Conan online, and if you tune in, I believe Neil Young will be on the Tonight Show this very evening.
Miranda said on 24-01-2010
This article was a complete waste of time.
I knew that within the first two paragraphs, and yet I was compelled to keep reading. The content was unnecessary and doesn’t apply to me as I barely know who either of these people are, however I thoroughly enjoyed the writing.
Often I find articles that have content I wish to read yet I need to force my way through them, despite the irrelevant content of this one it was easily read and very well written.
admin_rock said on 24-01-2010
I’m honestly not sure whether to thank you (on behalf of The Correctness), or to tell you to get the fuck over yourself.
n8 said on 25-01-2010
I’m thinking you just doubted yourself in to suspecting you might like something after all, seeing as SO MANY other people seem to like that thing.
And for the record, Will Ferrell should locate the nearest fire and go die in it, promptly.
Tbinns said on 25-01-2010
That is certainly possible. However Nickleback is enormously popular world wide, and there is NO ONE who will convince me to like them. Nevertheless, you might be on to something.
Len said on 27-01-2010
I feel similarly about the Violent Femmes. I love songs, and can listen for about three, then i cannot stand the voice any longer and stop listening. then months, or even years later start again.