The press tour for Norm Macdonald’s new Netflix show was a disaster. The off-kilter comedian committed gaffe after gaffe, starting with potshots at the #MeToo movement and ill-advised comments about Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr that seemingly made light of the victims of sexual harassment and racism.
The backlash was swift and his planned appearance on The Tonight Show was cancelled. He tried to apologize on The Howard Stern Show and managed to make things worse, saying, “You’d have to have Down syndrome to not feel sorry” for survivors of sexual misconduct.
On The View, he apologized for his apology, calling it “unforgivable.” In his own words, MacDonald is a “dumb guy,” who wishes he never had to do interviews at all, as he ends up confused and says things he doesn’t really mean. The issue is amplified with interviews intended for print, as something that might be said sarcastically or with a tongue-in-cheek tone loses that nuance without hearing and seeing his delivery.
Still, Macdonald said what he said. Like many stand-up comedians, he has often strained at the boundaries of political correctness, but his final apology seemed to hit the right notes. He recognized where he went wrong, took responsibility for his words, and clarified his intentions.
For a moment, it seemed like people were free to once again like, not like, or remain indifferent to Norm Macdonald.
Now, however, he has gone too far. In an interview with Garnet Fraser of the Toronto Star, Macdonald said something truly unforgivable: he hopes the Canucks never win the Stanley Cup.
“I would love to see any Canadian team win, except Vancouver,” said Macdonald. “I don’t know why I dislike them so much. I think when they first came out they got on my wrong side because their logo was a ****ing hockey stick and that drove me crazy.”
Okay, so that’s definitely not worse than making light of sexual assault victims or using Down syndrome as an insult. Hating the Canucks is okay, ethically speaking.
To be fair to Macdonald, he was born in Quebec City, then moved to Ottawa when he was in high school, and is a lifelong Montreal Canadiens fan. That type of upbringing means he pretty much had no choice but to hate anything that came out of the west coast.
Calling the classic Stick-in-Rink logo just a hockey stick is pretty rich, however, when the logo of his favourite team is just a “C” and an “H.” Just a reminder that the “H” in the Canadiens logo literally just stands for “hockey.”
Anyway, just add hating the Canucks to the list of bad opinions Norm Macdonald has expressed lately. Just don’t expect an apology for that last one.