Norm MacDonald is one of the funniest people on the planet. Despite having famous friends (Adam Sandler) and posessing one of the quickest and sharpest wits in Hollywood, he has never risen to become the successful actor he should have been. Why is that? Well, it could be because he's just too...awkward. He has a unique look, which in Hollywood means "not pretty enough to be the lead" and his humor is very hit or miss to the mainstream audience. If you don't believe me, check out any clips you can find of his run as Weekend Update anchor on SNL. Sometimes, people laughed and other times he had them scratching their heads, almost like Dennis Miller but actually funny.

There was a time, however brief, where Norm did almost break into the mainstream. It was a film that he helped write and he starred in and was the perfect showcase for his comedic gifts. This edition of Watch This!, I bring you one of the most underrated comedies to ever exist, the 1998 film Dirty Work. Now unfortunately, I couldn't find a trailer online, so here's just a random clip! ROLL THE RANDOM CLIP I SAYS!
Norm stars in this Bob Saget directed film (yes, you read that right, continue on now) as Mitch, a 30 something loser who cannot hold a job. After getting kicked out of his apartment, he goes to live with his best friend Sam (Artie Lange) and Sam's horny father Pops (Jack Warden). Pops ends up having a heart attack, and due to his age he is not high on the transplant list. Their in debt doctor (Chevy Chase) cuts them a deal: if they can get him 50,000 dollars, he'll push Pops to the top of the transplant list. Mitch and Sam try some odd jobs until Mitch decides to open up a "revenge for hire" business, where they will pull all sorts of pranks on people in order to get revenge on past misgivings (which include shaving a bearded lady and filling a car engine with popcorn). As they try to make the goal as quickly as possible, Mitch falls for the lovely Kathy (Traylor Howard) and they butt heads with the evil real estate mogul Travis Cole (Christopher McDonald).

Admittedly, the plot sounds pretty flimsy, and by all accounts it is. No one watches a comedy for the plot, however, they watch it to be entertained and Dirty Work is one of the most entertaining comedies of the past twenty years. Norm's deadpan humor is sprinkled through out and the situations Mitch and Sam get themselves into are hilarious. Lange even brings the A game no one thought he had to deliver a great performance, and Jack Warden is always funny (Problem Child, anyone?).

As you saw in the clip above, Chris Farley also shows up in the film and this would be his last film role as he died before it was released. Farley completely steals every scene he is in and it really makes you miss him all the more. There are other cameos strewn about too, from Adam Sandler to Don Rickles (who does his usual mocking schtick) and they are all done in a way that actually fit into the story.

Dirty Work is a hard to explain kind of movie. If you love Norm's brand of comedy, there is no excuse to not own this movie and watch it repeatedly. If you didn't find his SNL stint or his ABC show funny, you will still probably be entertained by the rest of the cast and the crazy plot. This is a comedy that should be put on a pedestal and hopefully someday, Norm will get his true chance in the spotlight like he deserves.

Dirty Work can be bought at the usual stores, but if you don't want to make a purchase, you can watch it (with commercials) on Hulu. Now you really don't have an excuse!
 


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