Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
by Garon Cockrell
Jim Norton: “Please Be Offended” (2013) CD Review
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By Garon Cockrell
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Aug. 21, 2013 5:10 a.m.

Whenever a comedian indicates
that people will be offended by his or her material, my hopes get high. Maybe
that indicates that I’m a mess, I don’t know. I know only that I love when comedians
cross the line. I love when comedians are fearless - as long as they’re funny,
of course. Most comedians are not offensive, even when they warn you that they
will be. Jim Norton is delightfully straddling the line in his new comedy
album, Please Be Offended.
The show was recorded in
Cleveland, and at the beginning he jokes, “I
wanted to shoot this in Cleveland because I really wanted to do this show and
then be murdered on the way back to the hotel.” The first big laugh for me
comes when he mentions that on a flight Al Sharpton was seated in front of
him. Jim Norton says, “And it was so
weird to root for my own flight to crash.”
Regarding being
offensive, he has material on how people are so afraid of offending anyone,
that the whole idea of being politically correct is taken to ridiculous and
stupid extremes. For example, he mentions a description of a suspect which
lacks the man's skin color but includes the color of his sweatshirt. “Why would you mention the thing he can
change, but not the race, which he can’t? What, do you think he’s going to
leave the sweatshirt on until the manhunt is over? All his friends are telling
him, ‘You might want to take that sweatshirt off.’ ‘No, no, I commit all the
rapes in this. This is my lucky sweatshirt.’” I love all of his stuff on
racism. And I love that he asks, “When
did we become such easily offended whiny fucking babies?” That's a very good question.
A good deal of his comedy centers on the idea of the value we place on privacy. I don't necessarily agree with his stance on airport security and
profiling, but it’s definitely
funny. And I love this: “I’ll be interested in hearing people talk
about privacy when there’s an accident in the southbound lane, and the
northbound lane maintains sixty-five miles an hour. Then I will believe people
when they say they value privacy." He also has material on the
so-called “reality shows” in relation to our sense of privacy. I’ve never seen
any of those shows, but I was still laughing.
His material on Mel
Gibson is great. “Mel Gibson is
hilarious. Everything he said belongs on a hat or a coffee mug.”
His bit near the end
about his ex-girlfriend is fantastic, and brought me back to one of the most
horrible relationships of my life. I try not to think about that one too much,
but I didn’t mind this time because the material is so damn funny. “Did you ever end a relationship because if
you don’t, the police and court system will?” Yes. The answer is yes.
By the way, he
mentions the Westboro Baptist Church. Everyone should know that organization
is just a scam, a way of making money. They want you to hit them, so they can
sue you. So don’t hit them, no matter how much they deserve it (and they
definitely deserve it).
And remember: “Vote for me – I fucked a rhino for
forty-five minutes.”
Please Be Offended was released on August 20, 2013 through New
Wave Dynamics.

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