The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

America Cries Out in Agony: ‘If Only Norm Macdonald Were Still Alive Today!’

Posted on | April 11, 2024 | Comments Off on America Cries Out in Agony: ‘If Only Norm Macdonald Were Still Alive Today!’

There are many varieties of humor, but overkill — complete and total overkill — is too seldom noted among them. There’s something hilarious about watching a guy grab hold of a joke and then just pounding away on it until you’re like, “Oh, my God, he’s going there again!”

Such was the genius of the late great Norm Macdonald:

He was removed as host of SNL’s Weekend Update in 1998, allegedly for relentlessly mocking O.J. Simpson during his murder trial, offending producer Don Ohlmeyer who was a close friend of Simpson.

Speaking of overkill, how many times did O.J. stab Nicole? It’s been so long since the trial, I’ve forgotten, but she was nearly decapitated:

She had been stabbed multiple times in the head and neck, but there were few defensive wounds on her hands, implying a short struggle to investigators. The final wound inflicted ran deep into her neck, severing her carotid artery. A large bruise in the center of her upper back with a corresponding foot print on her clothing indicated to investigators that, after killing Goldman, the assailant returned to Brown’s body, stood on her back, pulled her head back by the hair and slit her throat. Her larynx could be seen through the gaping wound in her neck, and vertebra C3 was incised; Brown’s head barely remained attached to her body.

You don’t need a Ph.D. in criminal forensics to understand that such an attack — cutting her neck so deep that the blade goes all the way to the spinal column — indicates a deeply personal motive, such as one might expect from an enraged ex-husband, for example. And the fact that the assailant killed two people (including Ron Goldman, who’d made the mistake of offering to escort Nicole home) would suggest the attacker was very muscular. Say, for example, a Heisman Trophy running back who spent more than a decade in the NFL. But this is mere speculation, of course, since I’m not a certified expert in such things.

Everybody knows that accused criminals are “presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” but everybody also knows that O.J. was guilty as hell. Unfortunately, this crime occurred before there was widespread surveillance video, which left the prosecutors the task of making their case with physical evidence and testimony that failed to persuade the jurors, thus giving rise to the legal shorthand term “O.J. jury.” For example, if you’re a business owner in a city like Baltimore or Philadelphia who gets sued for discrimination, even if you know you’re innocent, your lawyer is likely to advise you to settle the case out of court, because if you take it to trial, you might get the “O.J. jury,” i.e., a bunch of black jurors whose ignorance is exceeded only by their malice.

O.J.’s acquittal was a wake-up call for anyone who was paying attention to what the jury was actually saying: No way they were going to convict a black man of anything, no matter how guilty he was.

This happened just a few years after the Rodney King riots in L.A., and the racial hostility surrounding the Simpson case was intense, but you weren’t supposed to mention it — the media were in complete denial about the obvious motivation of the jurors who refused to convict Simpson. There was a lot of blah-blah-blah from TV talking heads about the errors made by the prosecution, while ignoring the overwhelming evidence of Simpson’s guilt. If O.J. didn’t kill his ex-wife, who did? Who else had a motive? These were obvious questions, for which the defense never offered any cogent answers, and no intelligent observer ever had anything like a “reasonable doubt” about Simpson’s guilt.

Amid all this uproar — three months after the murders, but before the trial started — Norm Macdonald began his stint as host of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live, and he hammered away on the O.J. case week after week, continuing to do so years after the trial ended. The real beauty of his overkill approach was how Norm would be doing a story about something else and then — surprise! surprise! — it was just a setup for another O.J. joke. Yes, sir, you could say Norm Macdonald had a comedic killer instinct, and you know who else had a killer instinct?

Anyway, it was nearly 30 years ago O.J. Simpson murdered two people and got away with it because of that wretched jury. Today, when the news broke that O.J. was dead, I was watching CNN (so you don’t have to) and wishing I was instead watching the old SNL bits with Norm Macdonald doing what comedians used to do, namely making you laugh by saying Things You’re Not Allowed to Say. See, that was what made it so funny — everybody knew O.J. was guilty, but nobody in the mainstream media would say so. And yet every Saturday night, Norm Macdonald was on TV saying the truth, and it was laugh-out-loud funny. Too bad Norm didn’t live long enough to be here when O.J. finally kicked the bucket.

UPDATE: Thanks to the commenter who reminds us of the conclusive clue, the size 12 Bruno Magli shoe print. Indeed, how could anyone have dismissed this evidence? This was an unusual and expensive brand of shoes and, even if you wish to theorize about some random stranger having a motive to kill Nicole Brown Simpson, what were the chances that this hypothetical murderer would be wearing size 12 Bruno Magli shoes? But the members of the O.J. jury obviously were not keen on the process of logical deduction, and so the killer was acquitted.


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