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Norm MacDonald talks sports

Norm MacDonald

Norm MacDonald Photo Credit: RJ Mickelson/AMNY

I'll be the first one to say it: It sure is nice to see Norm MacDonald behind a desk again.

The veteran stand-up comic and former anchor of "Weekend Update" on "Saturday Night Live" is returning to television - and, more importantly, to reporting comedic news - on his new series, "Sports Show With Norm MacDonald," which debuts on Comedy Central tomorrow.

amNewYork spoke with MacDonald about the show.

How did the show come about? Comedy Central wanted a sports show. Let me think of a more uninteresting way of putting it: I wanted to do a sports show and I love sports. And I've been offered shows before about politics and stuff, but I don't know anything about politics, and I also find it kind of dull. But I really, really like sports and I watch it all the time.

What is the format of the show? Well, for one thing, I didn't want it to be a parody of "SportsCenter," which was a natural place to go because Jon Stewart does a parody of a newscast. Newscasts are boring - f------ like NBC News; their shows are horrible, so you can parody them. But "Sportscenter" is a cool f------ show and already ironic and s---. You don't want to parody a cool show.

What will a typical show be like? I wanted it to be live, but they didn't want to do it live. But we're going to tape it on a Monday and show it on a Tuesday, so virtually everything is going to be about that weekend in sports. It will be as much as what happened on the field as possible, not as much about their lives. But it will be a comedy show first.

What sports do you follow? It used to be hockey, because I'm from Canada, but there's less and less hockey to watch. So football is my No. 1 and then basketball and then baseball. And then as much hockey as I can get on my stupid TV that doesn't carry hockey.

Are there any particular sports you'll be making fun of? No, I won't be making fun of any sports, because that's the first instinct. I'll probably make fun of the WNBA.

Do you play a lot of sports? I did. I got all torn up, because I'm twoscore and seven - I'm 47 years old, so I get banged around when I play with the f------ kids, and I just get hurt all the time. My son, he kills me. He beats me up so bad.

Who are some of your favorite sportscasters? Well, Marv Albert's my favorite. And I like Gus Johnson, now of the NCAA. Dick Vitale - I like guys that get excited. There was this other guy who was really funny, but then he shot a guy in the chest. Jayson Williams used to be with NBC, and he was hysterical - but then he shot his limo driver.

Do you play any fantasy sports? Oh, yeah - it kind of wrecked football for me. I'm not doing baseball this year because you don't know what you're hoping for. You have the NFL package and you're flipping to every game, and then at the end of the day, you don't know who won the games. So I don't think I'll do it next year. And I always f------ lose. I don't know how to pick fast enough at the draft - my time's running out, I'm like, "How the f--- do you do this?"

What was your team name? The Vipers. There were 18 people, and the top 12 make the playoffs. And I was 18th.

On TV: "Sports Show With Norm MacDonald" debuts tomorrow on Comedy Central at 10:30 p.m.

Read outtakes from our interview.


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