Norm MacDonald, of Saturday Night Life fame, has released Ridiculous, an unusual comedy CD that will most probably please fans of sketch comedy and those who enjoyed MacDonald’s various characters on SNL.

Not being a huge fan of sketch comedy, I can still appreciate the Saturday Night Live alumna talent Norm MacDonald has assembled on this comedy CD and must admit that some of the sketches here are excellent. The problem is overall, this Norm MacDonald CD is not particularly interesting.

Th really good comedy sketch on Ridiculous, and something you are certainly going to hear every Christmas, is The Twelve Days of Christmas sung by Steve Lawrence as Norm MacDonald plays a guy calling his girlfriend to thank her for the many bizarre gifts he is receiving over the twelve days of Christmas. This is a very funny comedy bit where the sound effect guy really shows off his talents and MacDonald does a Bob Newhart style phone comedy bit. MacDonald acknowledges his debt on the liner notes to this comedy CD which is only fair as he really does have Newhart’s style and patter down.

Norm MacDonald definitely knows his sketch comedy. There are various sketches here done in various genres on this comedy CD. Ridiculous opens with The Fantastic Four, an old time radio style bit where Mr. Fantastic, MacDonald, gives his fantastic colleagues their superhero names and encounters a bit of opposition for taking the group leader name. Another old time radio style comedy sketch is Stan & Lois where Stan tries to convince Lois Lane he is Superman. This is not a bad bit but suffers from the Saturday Night Live lasts too long syndrome.

Some of the tracks on Ridiculous will please sketch comedy fans while leaving other listeners a bit cold. This is the case for Girls, Girls, Girls where Molly Shannon plays a Sybil or 13-faced Eve to Norm MacDonald’s psychiatrist. This bit does suffer from the usual Saturday Night Live syndrome of running too long. Burning Bed, which echoes a real life event where a woman set fire to her husband while he was sleeping. This is a macabre bit that would certainly have caused a hell of a controversy had the sexes been switched but doesn’t quite deliver in the end.

Much less successful and definitely annoying on Ridiculous the Norm MacDonald CD is the track A Wonderful Afternoon Gone Awry which is just some guy screaming for no reason for two minutes. For some reason this sake highly questionable bit is repeated in something titled Do You Want A Sandwich Or Anything?

The comedy bit that seems to link everything on this sketch comedy CD is Gambling Sportscaster where the colour man is stressed because he bet on the game. A decent idea that, again goes for too long and too many tracks. MacDonald also resorts to your basic vomit joke to get a few laughs.

The so-called hidden track here is an old recording of MacDonald doing stand-up comedy in a bit called Star Search. Not bad.

Overall, this is a sketch comedy CD for Norm MacDonald fans only, and even then.

Norm MacDonald
Featuring Will Ferell, Molly Shannon, Tim Meadows
Comedy Central Records 2006
74 minutes
Distributed in Canada by Fusion III

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