Jim Norton on Sharing Perverted Personal Stories and "Bonding" with Audiences

If you're easily offended, you might want to stay away from the Tempe Improv on Friday and Saturday evenings. If you're not, then you'll be able to see comedian Jim Norton do some new, topical material this weekend.

"If you're offended by Bill Cosby rape jokes or strap-on stories, or if you're politically correct, you're not going to like it," Norton says. "I think every man should have a good strap-on story, and I've always been very self-revealing on stage and very open about my disastrous sexual life."

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You may know the New Jersey native from his time on the Opie and Anthony show on Sirius XM Radio, or you may have seen one of the many movies he's had cameos in. If you've seen Norton's HBO stand-up special or any of his other stand-up performances, you know that he's not afraid to tell just about any revealing story about himself.

"I try to keep it honest to my life as much as possible," Norton says. "I might not always be right, but I'm always honest. I like to relate things to myself and tell on myself, to show that I'm not just some scumbag hypocrite talking about other people."

Of course, Norton wasn't always so revealing. Although he's wanted to do comedy his whole life, it wasn't until he was 21 that he felt brave enough to stand in front of a microphone.

"Comedy is the only thing I ever wanted to do. I dreamed of doing it as a kid," Norton says. "I started going to open mics in New Jersey when I was 21, but I would actually hope for them to be canceled a lot of the time so I wouldn't have to go on."

Roughly 25 years later, Norton has found a path for himself in the comedy world, which included the chance to meet and work with one of his lifelong heroes.

"When I shot [2012 comedy special] Please Be Offended, there was the opening scene where you can just see that I'm asking someone to introduce me for the special. Then it's revealed that it's Ozzy Osbourne and he's sitting on the toilet," Norton says. "That was really a surreal moment, because Ozzy was a hero of mine growing up, and he did the opening of my special for me."

Although that might've been a high point of his career, Norton also gets joy from some of the aspects of just performing for a crowd on a regular basis.

"It's not just about getting attention, but I also like that I feel like I form an instant interesting connection with the audience every night. It's an instant bond," Norton says. "And sometimes it leads to oral sex after the show, which is never a bad thing either."

If you've seen Norton before, the comic says you don't need to worry about hearing the same material, because his style of comedy requires that he always mixes up his content to remain fresh and topical.

"I cover a lot of topical stuff, so it's all different material than people have seen from me before," Norton says. "There'll still be some good perverted stories, but it'll be totally different than the last special or the last time around when people saw me."

Jim Norton will be at the Tempe Improv this Friday and Saturday evening. Tickets cost $22 with a two-drink minimum and are available on the Tempe Improv website.

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Josh Chesler
Contact: Josh Chesler