L'il Jimmy interview in Detroit paper


I want to have L'il Jimmy's babies
The jacket chatter for Jim Norton's new book describes him as a pervert in the truest sense of the word. Oh, and there's also some stuff on his success as a comedian. Norton's credits include performing on Leno and Letterman, the upcoming Oct. 13 HBO special "Monster Rain," and being a member of the Opie & Anthony XM satellite radio show (also on WKRK-FM, 97.1 in Detroit). Now the guy with the buzz-cut hair and impish pit bull face is coming to DTE Energy Music Theatre on Saturday as part of the Opie & Anthony Traveling Virus Comedy Tour. The tour's lineup of eight comedians includes Norton, Carlos Mencia and Bob Saget. Norton also will be at a book signing Friday at Borders in Birmingham for "Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch" ($23.95, Simon Spotlight Entertainment), which is billed as essays on his sexual experiences, embarrassing star sightings and pathetic childhood. What's he like when he talks about his humor? Let's just say perversely smart.

QUESTION: Can you talk about why your comedy style is raunchy, where some comedians go in a different, cleaner direction?

ANSWER: You have to do what makes you funny, whatever is true to you. To me, there's no valor in clean and there's no valor in dirty. It's only about being original and true to who you are as a funny person. I've done a Letterman. I've done four "Tonight" shows ... so I do work clean as well. But I try to be at least a little darker when I'm clean. ... To me, if you're a clean guy and that's your humor, that's great. But if you go out of your way just to be TV clean, you're not doing yourself a service as a comic. You're a fraud. Why is that better? Lenny Bruce wasn't clean. Pryor wasn't clean. Carlin wasn't clean. Bill Hicks wasn't clean. These are all great comedians.

Q: Your book is billed as a peek into your twisted, horny, hilarious, pathetic and raunchy mind. So you're probably thinking Oprah book club selection?

A: You know, it's unfortunate Oprah wouldn't put this in her book club, because I think it would be very popular. But I don't think Oprah would really enjoy it. Then again, you never know. She has some real freaks on her show. You have a shot at getting on daytime TV if you're creepy enough. I don't think she'd find the humor in this book. Then again, I don't know if I want to be in Oprah's book club, because I think my fans would lynch me if they caught me on daytime TV chuckling with Oprah. They'd probably hate my guts.

Q: Why write a book?

A: It's cathartic. I love to write. A lot of comedians put their act on paper, which to me is cheesy. This is not my act. These are things that, the way I wrote them, wouldn't necessarily translate onstage because of the writing style or longer setups. ... It's true sex stories. It's also true comedy stories. Some of it's kind of really dark. Some of it's just very silly.

Q: You were on Comedy Central's "Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn," which was very politically incorrect. Why were you guys able to do that without producing huge controversy?

A: We were five comedians, first of all, who were unapologetic about it. ... And none of our stuff was coming out of guilt. You couldn't argue a lot of the logic. ... What annoys me is that people will confront you when it's done in humor, yet nobody would write to Lifetime and complain if they made a domestic violence film. I get sick and tired of comedians as artists not being given the same free rein with subject matter as every other artist is given. It drives you nuts.

Q: What do women think of your humor?

A: More than you'd think like it. ... I think women get the vibe that I am pervy, but I'm not abusive, ever. ... I really do love women, and I think they sense that. I get a surprising amount of e-mail from women. Once and a while, it's negative. But the majority of times, it's really, 'Hey I love what you do, and I love the fact you speak honestly as a guy.' "



Guess who's back? Hoffman's back
Nice find Simby! Good to see Jimmy getting lots and lots of attention.