'Sports Show with Norm Macdonald' premiere review: 'Wait, what?' Norm's sly sports jokes were winners | EW.com

TV | Ken Tucker's TV

'Sports Show with Norm Macdonald' premiere review: 'Wait, what?' Norm's sly sports jokes were winners

Sports Show with Norm Macdonald was a fine way to bring the terrific comedian back to weekly television. Combining his SNL “Weekend Update” news delivery with athletics, the show was a fast-moving, joke-packed half-hour.

Macdonald ran through a series of one-liners interspersed with taped bits and apparently regular, longer segments such as “Wait, What?” and “What the H.” This week’s “What the H” was “What the h is up with Tiger Woods,” in which the host analyzed the faltering golf career and scandal past of Woods. Macdonald ascribed Woods’ problem to “leading a double life: He golfed by day and then laid down with ladies by night.” This is one of Macdonald’s unique comic strategies; he’ll take a slightly arcane phrase such as “lay down with ladies” and repeat it with a (semi-)straight face, and it, kinda magically, becomes funny.

Macdonald can get away with poor taste humor, as he did this night with lines about Mike Tyson, Yogi Berra, and quick questions such as, 

"When will the guys on Dirty Jobs be a prostitute? Isn’t that the filthiest job of all?” He does it with his perpetual half-grin and genial, what-me-worry? demeanor.

It’s great to have Macdonald back on TV regularly. I don’t follow many sports, but I’ll be watching this show on Comedy Central every week.

How about you?

Twitter: @kentucker

Originally posted April 13 2011 — 8:29 AM EDT

More from Our Partners