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The Norm Show: The Complete Series (1999)

Norm MacDonald , Ian Gomez , Steve Zuckerman  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Norm MacDonald, Ian Gomez, Laurie Metcalf, Faith Ford, Artie Lange
  • Directors: Steve Zuckerman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 1185 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003NHMYI8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,616 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Commentaries by Norm Macdonald and Bruce Helford

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

All 54 Original Episodes

From Norm Macdonald and executive producer Bruce Helford (creator of The Drew Carey Show) comes this warped look at a pro hockey player turned criminal turned social worker.

Meet Norm Henderson. Once a fairly well-known, but not particularly skilled, professional hockey player, Norm had a penchant for gambling and an aversion to paying taxes that resulted in his expulsion from hockey for life. Facing a possible jail term, Norm was instead sentenced to community service as a caseworker in social services, where his mischievous and sarcastic personality has him breaking all the rules, leaving his friends, by-the-book coworker Laurie (Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne) and neurotic colleague Danny (Ian Gomez, Cougar Town), to constantly help him out of trouble. Also starring Max Wright (ALF) as his Boss Mr. Denby, Nikki Cox (Las Vegas) as Taylor the ex-prostitute social worker and Artie Lange (The Howard Stern Show, Dirty Work) as his crooked if not crazy half-brother: smart, edgy, dry comedy was the norm.

In the booklet that accompanies this welcome boxed set, The Norm Show cocreator Bruce Helford calls this late lamented series "the one that got away." A show that was just getting better as it went along, it fell prey to the vagaries of network scheduling, moved from Wednesday nights where it did very well to the programming sinkhole that is Friday night, where it did not, and was cancelled after three seasons. Helford also cocreated The Drew Carey Show, and Norm is cut from the same cloth. It shares the same off-center rhythms, delight in meta-musings and tweaking sitcom conventions, and cold openings, such as Norm's parsing of TV's ratings system (with rebuttal in one episode by the Devil) and the episode that begins apropos of nothing with costumed cast members engaged in a Pokémon battle. The show also engaged in Carey-esque stunts, such as the punch line and movie reference contests. Norm MacDonald is a pricklier personality than Carey. His Norm is not as likeable as Carey's Everyman. He is a former professional hockey player who avoids jail for tax evasion by performing community service as a social worker. He is a slacker in an office of dedicated professionals, including compassionate and overworked Laurie (the remarkable Laurie Metcalf) and the luckless and sensitive Danny (Ian Gomez). To the show's credit, little effort is made to dull Norm's sarcastic and acerbic edge that made him one of SNL's best Weekend Update anchors and Conan O'Brien's most dependably funny talk show guests. In one episode, when Danny says, "But you don't want to hear my problems," Norm replies, "Thanks, buddy. I was gonna say that but I thought it'd sound bad." The ensemble also includes sitcom veterans who raised MacDonald's game, including Murphy Brown's Faith Ford as Norm's social worker and romantic interest, Alf's Max Wright as Norm's tormented boss, MacDonald's Dirty Work costar Artie Lange as Norm's irresponsible brother, and Nikki Cox as Taylor, a former hooker, whom Norm helps rehabilitate. There are no Very Special Episodes, but several involving story arcs (Norm lapses into gambling, Danny and Taylor's budding relationship). And just for fun, there are memorable cameos (Richard Pryor in his last screen appearance as an abusive and uncooperative case, Lou Rawls as a hansom cab driver) and guest star turns, including Jack Warden as Danny's macho father who may be gay and Tommy Smothers as Norm's less than paternalistic father. As the show got better, so did its opening credit sequences. Season 2's never gets old, a comically choreographed street scene that perfectly encapsulates the characters. Extras are limited to several entertaining audio commentaries by MacDonald and Helford, who share writing and comedy insights and secrets from the set (during the episode "Norm Dates Danny's Dad," Helford reveals Norm's failed catchphrase that, alas, can't be repeated here). --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless humor has aged well October 18, 2010
Our memories can sometimes play tricks on us when we think back to our old favorite TV shows from decades past. We remember how great these shows were, how funny and original they were, and moan about how much we wish that one series or another would be released on DVD. And sooner or later these old shows usually do make it onto DVD, and we buy them with great anticipation of reliving something wonderful from years ago. And unfortunately, we sometimes find that our faded memories of a certain show are much better than the show actually was. Perhaps because the humor was of a certain time and has become dated. Or perhaps as we grow older our tastes change, and what we once considered to be hilarious we now find to be rather sophomoric.

I am very happy to say that this is not the case with The Norm Show. I purchased this DVD set expecting it to be as funny as I'd remembered, and it is! I looked forward to favorite gags or punchlines that I remembered from the series, and they still made me smile or chuckle when I heard them again. Jokes I'd forgotten made me laugh out loud.

It is testimony to how smartly the show was written that the jokes work as well now as they did when the show originally aired a decade ago. With the exception of one Pokemon sequence, they smartly chose to avoid using cultural references of the time that would lose their relevance in later years. Even a hilarious scene where Norm's straight laced boss Mr. Denby dresses as Gene Simmons of KISS for Halloween is as relevant now as it was then, thanks to KISS' continued popularity, and Gene Simmons' own exposure on his Family Jewels reality show.

As for the actors, they all play their characters perfectly and contribute greatly in every scene they appear.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best sitcoms of all time. September 29, 2010
By Neo
If you are a fan of Norm MacDonald I don't see how someone could not find something humorous or enjoyable in this series. It's essentially him playing his awesome comedic-sensibility throughout an entire sitcom setting: one filled with great supporting characters. It is truly a whole load of fun, and getting the complete series in one set represents an excellent value.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shout Factory Does It Again! January 15, 2011
By Kasey G
IMO, the TV sitcom landscape in the late '90s was a wasteland. My old favorites "Roseanne" and "Murphy Brown" were getting long in the tooth, and I found the vastly overrated "Friends" unwatchable.

It was by chance I discovered "The Norm Show" at a friend's house shortly before it was cancelled. I was surprised to see Laurie Metcalf, so wonderful in "Roseanne" among the cast. Since the show was never syndicated, I was only able to catch full episodes on two Emmy screener VHS tapes I acquired from eBay about 10 years back.

Needless to say, I was thrilled when I learned Shout! Factory was partnering with WB to bring the complete series to DVD in a comprehensive set which consists of all 54 episodes from the three seasons of "The Norm Show" (later shortened to simply "Norm") which ran on ABC from 1999 to 2001. There are commentaries on select episodes but I wish there was a featurette reuniting the entire cast to discuss the show together.

I guess you could say "The Norm Show" is my "Seinfeld" since I never was a big fan of Jerry's show. The characters in "Norm" are similar though, in that they are often self-serving and deceitful to get what they want. Much of the humour is mean-spirited (especially that directed towards Mr. Denby) but never comes off as too bitter.

Dare I say Ms. Metcalfe is even more hilarious here than she was on "Roseanne". However, it's not all about Laurie. This is truly an ensemble comedy--albeit a quirky one that many people may not "get"--but let 'em watch "Friends" or "Everybody Loves Raymond" instead. I have never been a fan of anything than panders to the lowest common denominator.

Henderson's delivery takes some time to get used to, but it works well within the show and the chemistry among the actors is terrific.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Okay, I'll just watch one more episode. January 20, 2011
Verified Purchase
I remember the series when it originally aired but didn't remember it being as funny as it is. The Norm Show has a unique type of humor different from today's situation comedies. That being cleaver and most of all funny. The cast is likable as are there the characters they ply. Really enjoying rediscovering this comedy gem. Fast pass and witty. Just sorry there was not more episodes.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious show May 29, 2010
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this is one of the crude comedies that hit the mark. i was bummed it was cancelled. great cast, good plot, and some great lines i still remember and grin when it crosses my mind. norm is the man!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We all love Norm September 21, 2013
Verified Purchase
The only way to see this great short lived show is to buy it. It is not popular of course. The low-information population prefers 2.5 Men and the karaoke show.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great show, nothing like this on TV any more January 8, 2011
By B. Boal
The Norm Show was a great short lived show that I was sad to see it go. I thought It was cancelled due to 9/11 (along with "Family guy" and "That's my Bush" but it turns out that this was #1 it's first season, then they moved it and it was less dependable for top ratings and then they put it on Friday night and it died off. On an unrelated note, that's my bush was the most expensive and highest rated show on comedy central at that point and even high ratings couldnt justify it's cost, I still have no idea why Family guy got cut, glad it's back. They could bring this show back, I've heard worse ideas. Norm is looking a little older, but they could create a similar show around Norm. Nikki Cox was still on "Unhappily Ever After" when she did her first guest spot on the show, then came back and worked on norm almost full time and on her own show "Nikki" for a while. She used to be so hot, She now looks like a warning of the dangers of cosmetic sergury. But anyway, this show is great, glad to see it on DVD. They should show the ranking among TV shows on DVD instead of just movies and TV, so you get a better idea of how it's doing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Norm Show tv series
A great many people do not like Norm MacDonald's humor. I think it is funny as can be. This is Norm being Norm as ex hockey pro and his life with crazy friends. Read more
Published 2 months ago by vincewest75
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My son loves it
Published 2 months ago by Juan Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars It's too bad that you're
It's too bad that you're.. not as smart as you thought you were, in the first place. So sad that you .. had to get caught, that's not like you to lose face. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alan Talbott
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny show.
Very funny show. Even thought it is a bit dated, we enjoy watching it. It is a classic. A OK.
Published 11 months ago by LD
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Clean Fun
Norm McDonald is just a riot and add Laurie Medcalf to that mix and you have pure gold. Loved the DVD
Published 12 months ago by Barbara Silvestri
4.0 out of 5 stars ABC, what were you thinking?
This is one of the funniest sitcoms of the past twenty years. Norm's smart-alecky humor, both the character and the actor, is brilliantly on display on The Norm Show. Read more
Published 12 months ago by willhowcoop
5.0 out of 5 stars Norm Show
One of the most funniest/wittiest comedies on TV, with an incredible cast, writers, and special guests. I'll never understand why every show Norm MacDonald had was canceled. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Danny Ladd
4.0 out of 5 stars Norm very funny
Loved the show just wished some of the female characters were not shuffled in and out. Season two my favorite.
Published 16 months ago by rtuhlik
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this show
Norm McDonald, what more is there to say?

I remembered watching this on TV and absolutely loving it. It holds up fairly well after 10 years. Read more
Published 16 months ago by ilosby
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than I Remembered
I loved this show when it was on the air on Wednesday nights after the Drew Carey Show, but now that I'm a little older and can appreciate the humor even more I love it even more... Read more
Published 17 months ago by E. Pruitt
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