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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Jim Norton – "I’m A Hooker’s Dream"
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

As a stand up comic Jim Norton is notorious for being one of the most brutal around. That’s exactly what attracted radio hosts Opie and Anthony to his work. After a number of guest appearances Norton landed a gig with O&A and shortly thereafter a seat on the Comedy Central show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, which lasted a little over a year, and a role on the short lived HBO show Lucky Louie. In 2007 Norton released his first book, Happy Endings: Tales from a Meaty-Breasted Zilch, a collection of stories from his life that range from tales of his twisted adolescence to tales of his twisted adulthood, and followed it up with an HBO special that’s now available on DVD titled Monster Rain. This month I caught up with Norton to talk about his most recent work, his thoughts on turning 40 this year, and to ask him for some dating tips based on his own personal experiences.

Adam Bernard: First off congrats on the book, Happy Endings. I’ve been reading it and you’ve led quite the interesting life.
Jim Norton: Yeah, I mean it’s interesting / despicable. I try to be honest in the book. A lot of it’s really unpleasant and a lot of it’s kind of perverse but it’s my own life so I kind of felt like I had the right to write about it.

Adam Bernard: What inspired you to put the vast majority of your life’s experiences on paper?
Jim Norton: Because with writing there are no content restrictions. I love being completely creatively free. I can say whatever I want without some douchebag breathing down my neck telling me “you’re gonna offend somebody,” or “don’t say that.” I have content freedom in standup but there are certain things I can say on paper that I can’t say in stand up just because it doesn’t work in joke form.

Adam Bernard: You tell a lot of stories both in your book and in your act that don’t necessarily put you in the best light. Is there any concern this will change some of your friends’ views of you?
Jim Norton: I could care less. I’m a comic and that’s the problem with too many comics, they try to be sexy and it’s stupid. My job is to be funny and the things I have first and foremost are my life and my experiences. My friends are all pretty much limited anyway, they’re all people who accept the fact that I’m a piece of shit and they’re all comics so they don’t care if my book is doing well or not. If it does well they’ll just avoid me and if it flops they’ll just fucking shit on me as soon as I walk into The Comedy Cellar. So my life with them won’t change a bit, they don’t give a fuck either way.

Adam Bernard: Is there any concern that after finding out how many hookers you’ve been with other hookers may shy away?
Jim Norton: No, I don’t think so. I was a good trick. I was always showered before the gig. I looked at these girls like they were regular dates, that’s how pathetic I was, so I’m a hooker’s dream. Somebody asked me if I added it up how much I’ve spent, and I can’t do it yet, I keep shying away from it because I really don’t want to know, but I can tell you I’ve had a few thousand dollar days before. It’s disgusting. I absolutely could have bought a home at one point and I don’t make Charlie Sheen money.

Adam Bernard: Of all the people you’ve worked with who else would you like to read the life story of?
Jim Norton: I always say Colin Quinn. If he was gonna write his life story I’d read it because Colin is brutally honest. Nick DiPaolo I would love to read just to see when he was a nice guy. There was a probably a point when Nick was just a sweet, fun, charming guy and I want to know when that switched. It would be very interesting to go over that and see his childhood. Most comedians, I think, are damaged in some way. Most of them are sex addicts, or they’re drug addicts, so any comic that’s honest I’d be kind of interested in hearing from. I’d love to hear about Richard Jeni if someone wrote a book about him. This great comic, what causes you to be so depressed that you shoot yourself? What was going on in his head? I would love to hear from somebody close to him.

Adam Bernard: A lot of people might describe you as a raunchy comedian, but there are a lot of comics out there who curse a lot and constantly reference sex, but aren’t funny. Where’s the line? What’s the difference?
Jim Norton: Clean or dirty doesn’t make you funny or not funny. There’s this thing that’s been drilled into douchey comics that somehow you’re performing a higher form of the art if you don’t curse, which is dog shit. Neither one makes you funny or removes your humor. As long as you’re original and true to what makes you who you are as a funny person then, to me, you’re doing the right thing. Seinfeld is great because he is who he is, that’s why he’s so good, but Richard Pryor was not as funny when he didn’t curse. There’s a reality there. What are you going to say Pryor or (George) Carlin weren’t two of the greatest comics who ever lived because they used profanity? It’s irrelevant to me, profanity or not using it, as long as you’re original.

Adam Bernard: You’re turning the big 4-0 this year. Do you find this terrifying or calming?
Jim Norton: Neither. It sucks on paper to look at it and to say it, but in reality it doesn’t really matter to me. I live a fucking child’s life. I fuck off for a living. It’s fun. I hang out with my friends, I try to bang different chicks, I don’t relate to forty year old people at all. I have no desire to have a family, I don’t want fucking kids, so being forty is basically just something I recognize because I know the date I was born.

Adam Bernard: Kids? Yeah, I’m pretty sure if you show up at a lamaze class there might be issues.
Jim Norton: How fucking awful would that be? I’d show up with a bat, try to end this nonsense. It’s great for people who want it, but I have no desire for it.

Adam Bernard: You’ve hosted the AVN Awards twice. How have the ladies treated you there?
Jim Norton: Horrible. In 2004 I wound up pulling a train with Ron Jeremy after the awards show, I hosted with Jenna Jameson and me and Ron Jeremy fucked a girl together. Well, she blew me, Ron fucked her. After the one this year with Jessica Drake I got nothing, I just jerked off and got on a plane the next morning. Those girls want nothing to do with me sexually.

Adam Bernard: Finally, do you have any dating tips for the lovelorn out there?
Jim Norton: Yeah, don’t waste your time with dinner, just go on CraigsList. You get escorts on CraigsList. If you want a relationship get a relationship but if you’re looking to go out and just date, for what? I don’t comprehend it. Why would you want to do that? You don’t know if you’re gonna get laid or not. You don’t know if you’re gonna get along or not. Just fucking skip the nonsense and get right to the honesty, just pay someone, have sex and you both walk away with what you wanted as long as you’re both nice to each other. You can’t just go well she’s a hooker so I can mistreat her. If you treat her the same way you’d treat another girl then it’s fantastic.

Story originally ran in Beyond Race Magazine.

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