Norm Macdonald, the onetime SNL “Weekend Update” host and failed candidate to inherit The Late Late Show, will be back behind a prop desk this fall as the host of Netflix’s Norm Macdonald Has a Show. A trailer for the talk show spotlights Macdonald stiffly questioning the title of the program, asking Drew Barrymore if she misses cocaine, David Letterman if he thinks much about dying and Chevy Chase about knowing Bob Dylan (“I fucked him,” Chase answers). Throughout, it shows Macdonald’s off-the-cuff, irreverent brand of silliness. “This isn’t in the script,” he says comically toward the end.
The first season, for which Letterman serves as “special counsel,” will premiere on September 14th and feature 10, 30-minute episodes. In addition to the aforementioned people, Macdonald’s guests this season include David Spade, Judge Judy, Jane Fonda, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Keaton, Billy Joe Shaver and Lorne Michaels. Macdonald’s sidekick on the series is comedian Adam Eget, who manages the Los Angeles club the Comedy Store and had a role in Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser.
In a 2014 Rolling Stone interview, Macdonald described how he found out that he had been considered as a host for The Late Late Show – unbeknownst to him – and did not get it. “When I left Saturday Night Live [in 1998], a week later, they phoned from Letterman,” he recalled. “They said, ‘Would you mind coming in next week and doing five straight man-on-the-street pieces?’ And I thought ‘That’s weird they were asking me to do that.’ But I said, ‘Sure, yeah of course.’ Then they phone a few days later like, ‘Nah, we don’t want you to do that anymore.’ A week later, Rob Burnett, who was the producer of The Late Show, he called me and he said, ‘Oh, you didn’t get the job.’ ‘What job didn’t I get?’ ‘They’re going with Craig [Kilborn], and Dave really fought for you.’ I was like, ‘Wait, for what again?’ And Rob Burnett said, ‘[Former Late Late Show host] Tom Snyder, he’s leaving.'” He added at the time, “I never knew any of this, and if I hadn’t known I would’ve felt fine.” Now he’s finally getting his shot.