Jim Norton: Out of shape and morally repulsive
Jim Norton was sleepy Wednesday. He said he was up very late the night before visiting Internet chat rooms. “I’m horny, and I feel like a sociopath for jacking off at that hour,” he said, before rambling off, saying something indecipherable that ended with, “a sea of filth.”Norton will be performing two nights of standup comedy on a bill with Louis C.K. as part of the HBO/U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Norton plays the pot-dealing friend of Louis’ character in a new HBO sitcom called “Lucky Louie,” which will air later this year on HBO. “He’s kind of a gross guy,” Louis said “The kind of friend you have when you don’t go to college and you’re hanging in your hometown.”Norton’s comedy can definitely get into the gross zone. “My job in that show is to crap on Louie,” Norton said. “I play a complete horse’s ass. I laugh out loud reading those scripts. Most scripts are humorless reading through them. It’s not just the language, it’s content.”Louis said Norton’s first audition, on film, left them unsure whether he would be right for the part. So they invited him out to Los Angeles to give it another shot. “He just outshone everybody,” Louis said. “Jim is one of the better actors on the show. He tries so hard. The guy he’s playing is such a derelict, but the guy playing him is so earnest. He’s like, ‘Can I please try it again because I didn’t say ‘mother’s c—‘ exactly how I wanted to?'”Norton grew up in New Jersey and first tried comedy at a bar in Spotswood, N.J. “I was atrocious,” he said. “Anyone that thinks they’re a great comic in their first five years is probably an awful comedian. The first two years is just finding yourself. Even when you’re getting laughs, it’s basic, easy crap.”At some point, before that first paying gig, he attempted suicide, did a stint in rehab and basically hit rock bottom. Now, he’s known in comedy clubs in New York and throughout the country. New York also knows him as a regular guest on the raunchy “Opie & Anthony” radio show. As a reviewer in Atlantic City put it in The Press, “Comedian Jim Norton insensitive, vulgar; but everyone was laughing.”And as Norton put it when talking about the show he’ll put on in Aspen, “I’m out of shape and morally repulsive. See you there.”Louis C.K. and Jim Norton with perform standup comedy at 10:30 p.m. today at the Wheeler Opera House and 8:30 p.m. Friday at The Tent.Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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