The late Norm MacDonald’s comedy definitely went there–and there could go right to the edge of problematic–yet he was able to go to his grave beloved. Most of that had to do with the fact he was one of the funniest men in America. However, his unique temperament could make him a comical nomad (for example see his cut-short stint as SNL weekend update–into which we took a deep dive six years ago). For the last ten years, many of which were spent staring into the abyss of terminal cancer, he created his own content. He pre-recorded his final special from home shortly before he died and it’s our top choice for this holiday Monday. But it’s not the only tempting TV tonight.
Norm MacDonald: Nothing Special [Netflix]
When we lost Norm Macdonald, we lost a legend. from his iconic time at SNL to his reputation with other comics he was a humor giant. His last special hits Netflix today and is fascinating; recorded over Zoom the day before he went in for surgery, it’s less a stand up special than stream of consciousness rant. Watch and remember a master.
Origins of Hip-Hop [A&E, 10p]
While A&E is not the most authentic choice for the history of rap music, I’m always there for another perspective of one of the most interesting musical origin stories there is–how many musical movements made an effort to not be recorded for nearly a decade. However, this is more about the individual artists who shaped hip-hop’s evolution to the centerpoint of culture it is today.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- Who better to clue us in on the inner workings of our 26th and most rugged of presidents than Doris Kearns Goodwin. The U.S.’s greatest historian brings us Theodore Roosevelt on History Channel which has decided to be about history again lately. History!
- Our 42nd and first jazzman president also gets a History Channel treatment with the first episode of the mini-series The American Presidency with Bill Clinton.
- It’s hard to positively spin the life choices of a certain original member of New Edition, his musical works at their best (“Don’t Be Cruel,” “My Prerogative”) were moments of genius. It’s yet another docu-series as A&E leans into the R&B with Biography: Bobby Brown.