Norm Macdonald Had a Secret (Tribute Documentary)

A documentary about Norm, his incident in Iowa, his philosophies, and his battles with cancer. I tried to condense what I love about Norm into this tribute. There are a lot of people I trust to make me laugh, but with Norm it’s almost like there’s also this element of joy you get beyond just humor. Joy from his demeanor and originality, even if the joke flops.

It’s weird feeling a connection with somebody you’ve never met, and like many others have said – it was the first “celebrity” death I’ve felt any emotion with, but I think this was part of Norm’s genius – he didn’t see value in posturing, possessions, or regarding himself above others – as is the default in Hollywood…he was just a guy – just an ol’ chunk of coal. And it’s very refreshing that his life exists as this beacon.

Hopefully I didn’t misrepresent any of his thoughts or events, just trying to spread this guy far and wide and add to all the awesome content out there.

Thanks for watching and thanks to r/NormMacdonald which led me to many useful links/articles/clips.

Follow progress on my current projects:

Podcast episode sources:
WTF Marc Maron:
Comedy Album Bookclub:
Theo Von/Jim Breuer (Iowa Story):
Conan O’Brien:

All 45 Full Norm Macdonald Live Video Podcast episodes are available for free viewing/download on the Internet Archive, there’s a real jerk of a channel on YT trying to charge for them:

I uploaded all the newspaper clippings I found using a newspaper archive site here:


Written by Styrofoam Bonfire


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  1. Once I learned this truth, I began to see examples of it everywhere. A picture hung on the wall of our parlor. In it, a woman was taking a shirt from a clothesline. She had clothespins in her teeth and it was windy and a boy was tugging at her dress. The woman looked like she was in a hurry and the whole scene gave me the idea that, just outside the frame, full, dark clouds were gathering. But that was not what it was. It was paint. So I decided right then and there to see the picture as it really was. I stared at the thing long and hard, trying to only see the paint. But it was no use. All my eyes would allow me to see was the lie. In fact, the longer I gazed at the paint, the more false detail I began to imagine. The boy was crying, as if afraid, and the woman was weaker than I had first believed. I finally gave up. I understood then that it takes a powerful imagination to see a thing for what it really is.

  2. Jesus, I had no idea he had cancer 3 fucking times. And as early as 1985?! Cancer is a motherfucker but stomach cancer is no fucking joke and it nearly killed him back then? We almost never had him? Fucking hell, that's some scary shit.

  3. At some point watching this, I gasped with grief upon the realization I had not gotten over his passing. Thanks, for putting this together it's very nice. Norm was my favorite.

  4. Norm explained that he didn't care about TV because he had already accomplished his two goals: being a standup and appearing on Johnny Letterman.

  5. Brother.

    You are up there with yhe likes of barely sociable, cold fusion, nexpo with your video editing skills. Definately one of the better put together, consistent moment vids ive seen in a long time. Been doing it mysefllf since i was a kid, so hope u really can appreciate the compliment moreso.

    Dontever stop please thanks lol

  6. 🎲🐐🎲🏌️‍♂️ I woke up with a plan. I hesitate to call it my own plan, since it did not exist when I fell asleep the previous evening. It was as if another man had spent months conniving and creating the plan and then had come to me as I slept and stage it whole in my mind.

  7. Ah. He had cancer his whole life. Was a gambler. Had no particular attraction to things. It makes sense I suppose. He was uncanny In a way few are. But who am I? Someone who only noticed when he was gone. A deeply flawed person living life through images on a screen.

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