Norm Macdonald took to Twitter late last night and delivered a lengthy but enlightening missive about the nature of creativity in comedy, the unfair reputation of comedians who are called “difficult” and “crazy,” and his brief stint as a writer for Roseanne from 1992-1993. Here’s an excerpt from what Macdonald had to say:
When the show ended, the Harvard boys went to other shows and were paid millions. After all, they had written Roseanne. Sort of. And Roseanne went away. She may have wanted to. I don’t know. But I do know what she was called. ‘Difficult.’ ‘Crazy’ even. These are words that are dismissive and can torpedo careers. Orson Welles was difficult when he tried to make a canned pea ad literate. And he was mocked for that. And so, the genius who made the best movie ever made couldn’t work. He’s crazy, you know, very difficult. Code words, these. Meant the guy or gal in creative has some ideas, maybe ideas much better than yours. That can be very difficult indeed.
Macdonald unloaded some high praise for Barr, calling her both “a true feminist in a world of false ones” and “a genius who is being wasted.” Near the end of his string of Twitter updates, Macdonald mentioned that tomorrow he’ll cover another comic similarly branded too “crazy” to work with, but in the meantime you can read his take on Roseanne and the Harvard boys edited together for clarity here.