Norm Macdonald sort of tells the truth in his new memoir

The famous comedian plays with truth and fiction in Based on a True Story: A Memoir
Norm Macdonald's new book, Based on a True Story: A Memoir, is a not-so-real memoir of the comedian's life.

Norm Macdonald has read a lot of horrible memoirs over the years. 

So when it came time writing his own book, Macdonald took a bit of a different approach. Based On a True Story: A Memoir is a revealing look into his life — but it's not entirely true. 

Not interested in giving "backstage" looks into his life and comedy routines, Macdonald admittedly plays with truth and fiction, keeping readers on edge while still making them laugh their heads off. 

Another book idea Macdonald had, as a response to today's over-saturation of comedians, was "how to write stand-up without being funny." 

"Anyone can learn tricks now," he explains, of aspiring comics. He even points out an example he had seen: a man who went from being a bouncer to telling jokes onstage. 

"Comedy doesn't work by supply and demand," he continues. "You can't create art because you need art." 

WEB EXTRAS | Watch Norm Macdonald tell Conan O'Brien the "moth joke." 

And watch Macdonald's 1997 appearance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien alongside Courtney Thorne-Smith.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?