(People don’t seem to realize that mobile phones are also tracking and recording devices. Norm and Bob certainly didn’t.)
[Sound of a ring tone, theme from Walking Dead]
NM: Yeah, Norm here.
BS: Hey Norm! Bob Saget here.
NM: What the f###-? You’re not supposed to be calling me! Goddammit Bob, I’m dead!
BS: It’s OK, Norm. Can I call you Norm? You know, when you died, I claimed I was your best friend. You know, like Tony Orlando and Freddie Prinze.
NM: What the f###?
BS: You know Normie, Freddie Prinze, Chico and the Man, committed suicide at age 22, 1976. Is he there by chance? He’d be 67 now, almost your age. And mine.
NM: “Normie”? I’m Norm! We’re not friends! We’ve never been friends. I saw you go on news and YouTube and all that claiming we were best buds. That really annoyed me!
BS: Well, Normie, that’s show business. We’re all best buds. Is Freddie there?
NM: Why am I talking to you? I gotta hang up here. We never had this conversation. This gets out, your career is over. Got that?
BS: I’m dead too, Normie.
NM: Goddammit, Saget, I am NORM. Do not call me Normie! … You’re dead now?
BS: Yeah. I got word right around the time you died. I was washed up but kept pushing my dead act, and finally they told me that I was finished, that I had to step down. It shocked me. I thought I was still going great guns, what with Danny Tanner and then home videos, but I guess no one was paying attention. So they just popped into my motel room, told me to pack a toothbrush, and here I am in Brazil.
NM: You’re here? Santa Catarina?
BS: Yep. Probably in the same neighborhood. They gave me a house, a car. My family had money, so I’m not desperate. My wife just called to make sure I was OK.
NM: Same deal here, no wife, just the kid, Dylan. He stays in touch. My family was juiced too. Kind of lonely here, really, as I can’t talk with anyone who knows who I am.
BS: What was it with you? I guess with me it was the Danny Tanner becomes gross-out comic that turned them against me. I thought the contrast was funny, poignant.
NM: Yeah. I didn’t care for that. Anyone can go blue, takes no talent.
BS: Well, what about you? Norm MacDonald Has A Show? Is that when they figured out you have no talent either?
NM: Pretty much. It’s like age 65 is lights out time for guys like us.
BS: I thought I might make the cut. Marty Short is 71, Steve Martin 76, Jerry Seinfeld 67. Hell, Mel Brooks is 95, just published a book.
NM: Are you picking up here, Bobby? Our names, their names don’t belong in the same sentence. They have talent. We don’t. Not everyone in show business is faking it like us.
BS: Yeah, they made that clear, my exit interview, said my career was just a gift, and to give it back. I guess mom pulled a few strings for me to get me a show.
NM: Me too. My ancestry says “son of private, private.” I guess a few strings had to be pulled to get me on Saturday Night Live. I kind of blew it there … I had no idea Ohlmeyer and OJ were friends, that OJ didn’t do anything wrong, just had to take a fall.
BS: You’re kidding! OJ was innocent?
NM: Is innocent! Hell, if I’d known that I’da taken it easy on the guy. Anyway, I still made a go of it, talent or no. I had a good run. I got no complaints.
BS: People forget right away. That part is sad. It’s like I was never Danny, that my standup was always bad, forgettable.
NM: It kinda was, Bob. But so was mine. I made a career doing the Tommy Smothers thing … you know … I couldn’t process fast enough so I stood there with a dumb look. People thought it was part of the act. Conan even thought it was brilliant!
BS: Well, Norm, I guess, I hope I’ll be seeing you. Do they have like social gatherings here?
NM: No. Can’t allow that. Too many smart phones. It’s really kind of lonely. We get to hang out with each other, a few others – John Denver plays for us now and then. Prince too, talentless bastard. I could barely sit through his shit. John Lennon even came by once, but that’s it. We cannot hang with normal people. It can be lonely.
BS: Do you play pool?
NM: Billiards? Yeah. I have a table. I’ll invite you over once things settle down for you.
BS: Thing about billiards, I’m not very good at that either.
NM: Me neither. I just sort of fake it. I got someone standing here wants to say hi …
BS: OK. Who is this?
FP: Oh, hi Bob. Freddie Prinze here. Man, you got lucky. I died at 22, my life’s been long and tedious. Only so much pool you can play …