Wild, dangerous, and flat-out unbelievable, here is the incredible #1 bestselling memoir of the Canadian actor, gambler, and raconteur, and one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time.
A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year
As this book’s title suggests, Norm Macdonald tells the story of his life—more or less—from his origins on a farm in the backwoods of Ontario and an epically disastrous appearance on Star Search to his account of auditioning for Lorne Michaels and his memorable run as the anchor of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live—until he was fired because a corporate executive didn’t think he was funny. But Based on a True Story is much more than just a memoir; it’s the hilarious, inspired epic of Norm’s life.
In dispatches from a road trip to Las Vegas (part of a plan hatched to regain the fortune he’d lost to sports betting and other vices) with his sidekick and enabler, Adam Eget, Norm recounts the milestone moments, the regrets, the love affairs, the times fortune smiled on his life, and the times it refused to smile. As the clock ticks down, Norm’s debt reaches record heights, and he must find a way to evade the hefty price that’s been placed on his head by one of the most dangerous loan sharks in the country.
As a comedy legend should, Norm peppers these pages with classic jokes and long-mythologized Hollywood stories. This wildly adventurous, totally original, and absurdly funny saga turns the conventional “comic’s memoir” on its head and gives the reader an exclusive pass inside the mad, glorious mind of Norm Macdonald.
In the spare moments of a Las Vegas gambling adventure replete with murderous loan sharks, drug and alcohol binges, and sexual misadventures comedian and Saturday Night Live alum MacDonald recounts predominantly fictitious tales from his life and career to his companion (and podcast cohost), Adam Eget, who's portrayed as a dunce. Some MacDonald fans will enjoy the comedian's signature mix of dark absurdity and sophomoric antics (many of the gags in the book are recycled from the comedian's prior work), but general readers will find little to appreciate in this uninventive and meandering adventure narrative. Many of the details and sentiments that MacDonald shares about his childhood, his 1990s tenure at SNL as host of the Weekend Update segment, and his current experience as a working comic past his prime are surely true. For the most part, however, MacDonald steers clear of introspection and disclosure, choosing instead to make up stories and tell jokes. MacDonald does deliver some hilarious material for instance, recounting a supposed confidential conversation with Rodney Dangerfield in which the late comedian admitted that despite his wealth and fame, he secretly felt disrespected. On the whole, however, MacDonald's faux memoir is not nearly funny enough to justify the reader's time.
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This book is hilarious and beautiful. I want to see this as a movie for sure. Also to Apple: I need the audiobook version on iTunes ASAP please :)
Just buy it.
Okay purely from a practical standpoint, 11$ is a steal for a novel that is equal parts captivating and hilarious- it's a tumultuous, side-splitting journey through the mind and memory of one of Canada's favourite sons.
I splurged on the audiobook for a road trip up to Sudbury from TO and hadn't even made it off the 401 before just about tumbling over the guardrail from laughing so hard.
Thank you, Norm. Can't wait for the next one.
Norm MacDonald is a true Canadian and what every c-list actor should strive to be.