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Case Number 12273: Small Claims Court

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Jim Norton: Monster Rain

HBO // 2007 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 25th, 2007

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All Rise...

When the Monster Rain hits, Judge David Johnson wants nothing to do with it.

The Charge

You don't want to know what it means.

The Case

Jim Norton, the smart-ass third voice from the Opie and Anthony radio show unloads on this hour-long HBO special—in more ways than one. Any regular listeners to the show are already familiar with Lil' Jimmy's brand of blunt, culturally-relevant, politically incorrect potty humor and any exposure to him on XM will probably give you a clearer idea of what to expect in this special.

Norton is hard-core, nuking taboo subject matter and unafraid to be disturbingly forthcoming about his bizarre sexual experiences. He's also very, very, very funny. Many times I was gut-laughing through this, struggling to catch my breath. Part of that may have been because of my stacked expectations and appreciation of his routine going into this, but I hazard that if you like edgy, borderline-disgusting, no-holds-barred humor, you will also laugh long and hard at Norton's stuff.

What I like about this guy is his relentless attacks on perceived sacred cows. He sticks up for Imus, slaps around Whoopi Goldberg, white guilt, notes the unattractiveness of the Rutgers women's basketball team ("We can't make fun of ugly people anymore?!"), calls Hillary Clinton a "phony b—-- ," and even compliments Ann Coulter (!), before of describing a hilariously graphic sexual fantasy he has with her.

Best of all, and this is something I've appreciated from him even on Opie and Anthony, is his willingness to tackle one of the biggest comedic killjoys ever: over-sensitive Islamic fundamentalists. Did he just talk about the Danish cartoon debacle?! Why, yes he did! For an event that is so ripe for parody, I don't recall hearing much lampooning of the rioting and burning over the "offensive" cartoons. But Norton tackles it head-on (can't these people just fire off a strongly-worded email instead?) and—gasp!—he even goes so far as to favorably contrast Christians' reactions to Kanye West's moronic crucifixion stunt on the cover of Rolling Stone to the widespread violence against a Ronald McDonald statue in Pakistan in one of the funniest bits I've ever heard. The guy is hilarious, irreverent—and dead on.

That being said, he started to lose me toward the end with his extensive segments on sex. This stuff was dirty, and while I wouldn't characterize myself as a prude, I was feeling pretty awkward and uncomfortable toward the end. Of course, that's almost surely what Norton was going for, some kind of gut reaction, and he achieved it, though me and my recently consumed dinner could have done without some of the more explicit details of his anal adventures.

Regardless, if you can take it, Jim Norton will make you laugh until you rupture an internal organ. The DVD is no-frills: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 2.0 stereo and only a few deleted scenes.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 90

Perp Profile

Studio: HBO
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Performance

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted Scenes

Accomplices

• IMDb








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