As of 2018, The Higgs Weldon has been up and running for 5 years. To celebrate, we are re-publishing some of our favorite pieces from over the years for the entire month of January. This article was originally published on July 14, 2014.
When I was told I’d be interviewing hilarious comedian Norm Macdonald, I was going to prepare a series of challenging and thought-provoking questions about the evolution of humor over the past half-century, and whether he thinks satirists trivialize the news or play a crucial role in the political arena.
Faced with having to do light research, I opted to squander the opportunity and ask a series of dumb, hypothetical questions.
1. You have one of the funniest, most distinctive voices in comedy. It’s instantly recognizable. Let’s say you get a call from Pixar, because they want to build an animated movie around you and they think you deserve bigger royalty checks. What kind of character would you want to play?
I’d like to play a pig. I never liked Porky that much, and there hasn’t been a funny swine in a long time.
Would you want to play the pig like a swine? Dastardly and underhanded? Or would the character be more good-natured?
No, I think he’d want to lie down with other swine. He just wants to lie down with other swine in the filthy muck.
2. You have a very active fan base on Twitter. They lobbied for you to become the new host of The Late Late Show. If you could ask your followers to lobby for you to take over any job—could be in entertainment, politics, business, or whatever—and you knew you’d actually get it, which job would you want them to tweet for you?
PGA tour professional. I’d just golf all day every day. Effortlessly.
You would rise immediately to the top.
Yeah, yeah. I’d have a couple of rivals, but I’d always beat them in the end.
Would you have sponsorship deals as the best golfer in the world?
I just think it’s a quality car made in America. Buick.
3. Let’s say your hilarious new VPN show Norm Macdonald Live became the most watched show in America, on any platform. During an interview, someone rushes to your desk and hands you a piece of paper with a news story. What story would you want to break live to the world?
Oh, I guess the assassination of Anwar Sadat. I’d like to make that announcement, because it happened thirty years ago, so it wouldn’t sting.
4. Let’s say you hire a new producer: a necromancer who could bring any dead celebrity or historical figure back to life so you could interview them. Which dead guy or lady would you want to interview?
What would you want to ask Hitler?
Uh… I don’t know. To be honest, I’d probably just fall under the spell of his black eyes. I’d forget what questions I should ask. But if I could hold myself back, I’d ask him, “Why?”
Would you ask him, “why,” then just sit there and stare until he answers you?
Yeah, or run away in fear.
I like that the person you’d most want to interview is someone you’d run away from in fear.
5. Finally, let’s say an eccentric billionaire visits your office, because he wants to create a real life Dirty Work. However, it turns out he wasn’t a billionaire at all—he’s a sneaky publisher who stole a manuscript you’ve been working on from your office, with intent to change a few details and publish it first. What kind of revenge prank would you pull on him?
It’s a pretty serious offense he’s created in this scenario. I guess I’d replace his wife with the corpse of his wife and put it in his bed.
So you’d murder his wife and put the corpse in his bed? Or would you make a prop—
No, while he was sleeping, I’d murder his wife in cold blood, then put her cold hand on his chest, so when he woke, she would have this frozen grip on him.
That reminds me of those scenes in 80s movies, where a chimp gets into the bed.
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