I watched the show 3 times. Once when I was drunk. The next when I was buzzed. The last when I was sober. I can assure you that at whatever mental state you watch Jim Norton you will not be disappointed. Stoned, drunk, or sober you will laugh your ass off.
The opening song sets the tone for the whole special. “Wicked World”, by Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath 1970). Ozzy Osbourne sings, “The world today is such a wicked thing / Fighting going on between the human race.” The lyrics explain the Jim Norton comedy special as well as the state of modern day society. I do not believe Jim could have selected a better song or band for his special. I will admit I am partial to his music selection since I am an avid Black Sabbath fan since I was 12, nonetheless, the song fits perfectly.
Rewind a couple of minutes prior to the song and you have an impressive introduction from three A-listers. Jim is asking for some pre-stage encouragement and Ricky Gervais puts him in his place reminiscent of a one-sided roast battle. The next stop on Jim’s trek for encouragement is begging Louis CK for support at Louis’ door. In typical nonchalant Louis CK style, Louis slams the door shut on a pleading Jim. The final encounter is with Robert De Niro, who obliges Jim’s need for support that ends with a few face slaps and an ass spanking. You should be laughing by now and the above mentioned only happened in the first two minutes.
Jim’s humble down-to-earth persona is shown immediately to the audience and viewer. His $20 fake Yeezys perfectly match his plain gray shirt. His opening lines explain how he is not mainstream. He’s just an ordinary looking guy and no one can ever remember his name. Some have called him funny only because he is self-deprecating. I don’t see it that way. He is self-deprecating at times, but the reason why his comedy is so good is because it’s relatable to the audience. Jim’s personal situations have happened to us, individually, or someone we know at some point in time. The crowd interaction throughout the comedy special proves this point perfectly.
Jim made hilariously logical jokes about Charlie Sheen, Bill Cosby, Jared Fogle, and Caitlyn Jenner to name a few. You could do nothing but laugh and then think to yourself, ‘Wow! Jim is right.’ Jim’s timing is impeccable whether talking about mainstream stars, himself, or during the crowd interaction.
Jim did skip one thing that most other comics touch upon to get a laugh, which is politics. I have not read any reviews or articles that address this for Jim Norton. Even if you don’t like Jim’s comedy you should applaud him for this feat. He did not have to bring politics or his political ideals into his special to get a laugh. In my opinion if he did bring politics into the special it would have taken away from the comedy. Personally, I just stop paying attention during a show if an artist is trying to push their ideals on me. He brought pure unbiased comedy and brought it flawlessly. Jim Norton may not be a mainstream name currently but he will be in the foreseeable future.