Jim Norton (American Comedian)
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Jim Norton American Comedian
Jim Norton
Jim Norton photo by Josh Alder.jpg
Norton in 2011
Birth name James Joseph Norton Jr.
Born (1968-07-19) July 19, 1968 (age 49)
Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.
Years active 1990-present
Website jimnorton.com

James Joseph Norton Jr. (born July 19, 1968) is an American comedian, radio personality, actor, author, and television and podcast host. He gained initial prominence as the co-host of the former radio show Opie and Anthony, with Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia, from 2001 to 2014. Norton has been the co-host of the podcast UFC Unfiltered with Matt Serra and the morning radio show Jim Norton and Sam Roberts on SiriusXM since 2016, and The Chip Chipperson Podacast since 2017.

After becoming a stand-up comedian in 1990, Norton spent his early years developing his act. His appearances on The Louie Show caught the attention of comedian Andrew Dice Clay in 1997, who chose Norton to open for him for his shows. In 2000, Norton made his debut on Opie and Anthony and joined the show as a co-host from 2001 which increased his national exposure. He went on to star in the sitcom Lucky Louie and had cameos in feature films including Spider-Man (2002). Since he joined SiriusXM with Opie and Anthony in 2004, Norton hosted Opie with Jim Norton from 2014 to 2016, and The Jim Norton Advice Show.

Since 2003, Norton has released four comedy albums and seven comedy specials, including three on Epix and one on Netflix. In 2014, Norton hosted The Jim Norton Show, a talk show on VICE. He has written two books: Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch and I Hate Your Guts.

Early life

James Joseph Norton Jr. was born on July 19, 1968, in Bayonne, New Jersey.[1] His mother was a librarian and his father was a former marine and army reservist who later worked as a driver for the US postal service.[2][3] Norton grew up in North Brunswick, New Jersey with his sister Tracy.[4][5]

Norton attended North Brunswick High School. During this time, at age 13, Norton started to drink heavily, "mostly vodka and grain alcohol" because it got him drunk quicker. "That feeling of discomfort that was always there, wasn't there when I drank. It was just a way of feeling comfortable ... I was horribly insecure, horribly shy, always feeling ugly and weak".[3] At 16, Norton started to cut himself with a razor blade in an attempt at "attention-seeking ... It was "notice me!" crap. I was 16, 17, and drunk. I never did that stuff sober".[6] He then missed some schooling, including his graduation from high school, after his alarmed parents sent him to a rehab facility in Princeton, New Jersey for one month, where he continued to sneak in alcohol but changed his thinking and completed the course at 18. When he was away, his class had voted him as class clown.[6] Norton had his last drink at New Year's Eve 1985 going into 1986, and has been teetotal and drug free since.[7][3] Norton's addictive personality began to direct towards sex after he got sober.[8][9]

After being sober for around three years, Norton obtained his GED[10] and attended Middlesex County College with the aim of pursuing a law degree and becoming a lawyer, but lasted one semester before he quit.[11] He earned a B grade in English and fails in Problems and Statistics, Science, and Western Civilization.[6][12] At 18, he took up work in a copper company, operating a forklift to unload boxed tubes of copper from trucks, which he remembered as being "awful". He was fired from the job at age 23.[13] Norton collected unemployment benefits for several years, pretending to look for work while doing sets in local comedy venues, before he decided to pursue comedy full-time.[13]



Norton wished to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian when he was 12.[9] He took an interest to comedy after his mother brought home comedy albums from work, and names Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Woody Allen, and Robert Klein as his influences.[14][15] Norton performed his first stand-up routine in April 1990 at an open mic night at Varsity, a pub in Sayreville, New Jersey, when he was 21.[3][14][14] He later described his performance as "awful".[16] Norton credited Pat Gaynor for putting him on stage that night, and Ward and John Magnuson of Rascals comedy club as being "instrumental" in his early development.[17] Following his debut, Norton spent five years working on his stand-up across New York, New Jersey, Boston, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida with comedians Jim Florentine and Bob Levy, who were coming up at the same time.[16][14] Norton developed an act based on self-deprecating humor, which came naturally to him, and gained encouragement when other comedians told him they enjoyed it.[12] Around ten years into stand-up, Norton felt he had found his voice and felt comfortable enough on stage.[16]

In 1997, comedian Andrew Dice Clay noticed Norton on television and made him his opening act

Norton had a breakthrough in 1997 after comedian Andrew Dice Clay noticed his appearance on The Louie Show and asked him to be his opening act on his tours when his original pick cancelled at the last minute.[11][14] The two first met at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles where Norton was doing his first gig at the venue, and learned Clay wished to go on stage after him.[13] Norton went on to open for Clay in the course of the following three years,[14] playing large venues including Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2000.[17]

The absence of Opie and Anthony from the airwaves between August 2002 and October 2004 encouraged Norton to write and develop his stand-up act. Soon after the show's cancellation, he underwent his Yellow Discipline Tour.[18] In 2003, he had assembled a new 45-minute set and assembled his first comedy album, Yellow Discipline, which was followed by Trinkets I Own Made from Gorilla Hands, in April 2005.[16] Soon after, Norton filmed his first half-hour HBO comedy special as part of the network's One Night Stand series, at a sold out show after his manager informed him of the chance to perform a showcase in the New York City area.[16][19] In 2004, Norton was voted best comedian and breakthrough performer of the year on Cringe Humor. Following his return to radio in 2004, Norton began a weekday routine of doing radio in the morning and performing short sets in a New York City comedy club, mostly the Comedy Cellar, in the evening to work on new material.[20][21][9] From 2006 to 2008, Norton featured on every show of the annual Opie and Anthony's Traveling Virus Comedy Tour. In 2008, Norton hosted a four-part show on HBO titled Down and Dirty with Jim Norton that featured Lemmy as its musical director.[22] He had Amy Schumer be his opening act in her early career.[23][24]

Norton had a productive start in the 2010s, writing and releasing three, hour long specials in three and-a-half years.[21] He released his first, Please Be Offended, on the television channel Epix in June 2012, and features Ozzy Osbourne sitting on a toilet introducing Norton.[25][26] He chose the network as they allowed him complete creative freedom and were willing to promote his product.[27] Norton followed it with American Degenerate, his second for Epix, which aired in August 2013 before it was released on Netflix that November.[28][8] In April 2015, Norton released his fourth Epix special, Contextually Inadequate.[29] Within three months of its release, Norton was touring with a new hour of material.[30] In the following year, Norton described his career as "stagnant ... there's nothing happening".[20]

In 2017, Norton's special A Mouthful of Shame debuted on Netflix. He promoted it with the 31-date Mouthful of Shame Tour, his first nationwide theatre tour as headliner, throughout 2016.[20][31] Later in 2017, Norton embarked on his first stand-up tour of Europe, visiting Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He signed with WME to pitch ideas for his own series on Netflix.[32][33] Norton will undergo his first tour of England in November 2017.

Radio and podcasts

Jim Norton, in the Opie and Anthony studio in 2005

In early 2001, Norton became a co-host of the Opie and Anthony radio show on WNEW in New York City, with hosts Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia. He resisted calling himself a "host" of the show as he believes his strongest performances were when he was "an outsider looking in".[20] He first appeared on the show in 2000 with Clay during his time opening for him on tour and became a regular guest and sat in on some shows. In November 2000, Norton was arrested with comedian Lewis Black and show producer Rick Del Gado during their live reports on board the Teen Voyeur Bus, a transparent bus of topless women driving around the city. It so happened that the bus' route was also the route that the president was also taking that day, but the show was not informed of the news. Norton spent the night in jail.[15][34] In August 2002, the show was cancelled following the controversial Sex for Sam 3 segment and remained off the air for two years. Norton returned to the radio with Hughes and Cumia on XM Satellite Radio, an uncensored satellite radio service, in October 2004. Cumia said Norton contributed a "dark and perverse" side to the show.[6]

In October 2008, Norton was sued by New York City attorney Roy Den Hollander over his treatment during a phone interview on Opie and Anthony.[35] In August 2009, The New York Post reported that Hollander was willing to drop his suit if Norton would also drop his motion to have Hollander sanctioned for filing a baseless claim, as well as being forced to pay Norton's legal fees.[36]

On December 2, 2009, Norton had an on-air argument with Jesse Ventura over the September 11 attacks and measures against illegal immigration. Ventura was arguing against what Norton claimed was the Border Patrol practice of stopping individuals and asking for ID deep within US borders, claiming that such actions were unconstitutional. At some point, when Norton disagreed with him on this, Ventura suggested that Norton did not believe in the Constitution, to which Norton strongly objected. Soon after, as the argument became more heated, Ventura walked off the air and the two exchanged explicit comments towards each other.[37]

Norton with fellow comedian Rob Bartlett at Carolines on Broadway in 2006

In May 2010, The Jim Norton Show premiered on the Raw Dog Comedy channel on SiriusXM. The show featured Norton as the host with other comedians plus clips of live stand-up.[38]

After Cumia was fired from SiriusXM in July 2014, Hughes and Norton continued to broadcast and became the hosts of Opie with Jim Norton, during which time the channel was renamed Opie Radio. Norton quickly missed working with Cumia, disliked the title of the re branded program, and felt he did not take over the vacant spot left by Cumia, but rather be a voice on the show hosted by Hughes.[39] The show ended in September 2016.[40][41] During this time, Norton also hosted a weekly advice show on SiriusXM named The Jim Norton Advice Show.[42][20]

In October 2016, Norton became the host of Jim Norton and Sam Roberts with former Opie and Anthony intern and producer Sam Roberts. Norton has a nightly one-hour playlist segment on Ozzy's Boneyard, a channel on SiriusXM, named Obsessed that airs his favourite tracks.[43][22]

In mid-2016, Norton ended an online crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo for the production of The Chip Chipperson Show, an animated web series based on the same titled character that he does on the radio. He started the character as a way of hassling his girlfriend.[23] He had received many requests to have the concept animated, and launched the project to have five full episodes made by Big Hug Prodctions.[44][23] Norton voiced the character in the series that also featured his other characters, including Uncle Paul Harghis, Jelly, Edgar Mellencamp, and Ted Scheckler. The fund raised over $61,000 from 724 donators.[44]

In May 2016, Norton became the co-host of UFC Unfiltered, the first Ultimate Fighting Championship audio podcast, with former fighter Matt Serra. The pair record two episodes each week.[45][46] The first episode launched on June 21, 2016, and has since run for over 130 episodes.[45] Norton then launched his own weekly audio and video podcast based on his Chip Chipperson character, on the Riotcast network. The Chip Chipperson Podacast launched on April 9, 2017.[47]


In 1997, Norton appeared on The Louie Show starring Louie Anderson.[14] From 2002 to 2004, Norton was a regular performer on the comedy series Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.[17] He then lost his place on the second season of Last Comic Standing in 2004 because of a contractual obligation to film pilot episodes for MTV which he had secured following the success of his One Night Stand special.[16][19] The two pilots were Camp Cool, filed in Cancun for MTV Spring Break, also starring Al Shearer about helping men meet women, and Stupid Bets.[11][12] His manager advised him not to compete in Last Comic Standing as it was a reality show, but he agreed as he was depressed and frustrated with the uncertainty of his career as Opie and Anthony had been cancelled.[12] Norton had a contract with Viacom during this time.[12]

In September 2004, Norton made his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,[48] and appeared twice more by mid-2006.[49] He has appeared many times since, including as a correspondent named "The Uninvited Guest".[50] In April 2005, Norton starred in a pilot episode for Louis C.K.'s Comedy Central sitcom Lucky Louie, playing as Louie's friend Rich.[16] He landed the role after the series was picked up by the network and aired through 2006.[49] In 2007, Norton co-hosted the AVN Awards with Jessica Drake.[9] In June 2008, Norton appeared in several episodes of The Gong Show with Dave Attell as one of the celebrity judges. Since mid-2007, Norton has been a regular guest on Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld on Fox News which he later credited as a contributor in boosting turnouts to his comedy shows.[28] In 2010, Norton guest-hosted Red Eye. Starting in 2010, Norton began appearing in Louis C.K.'s FX sitcom Louie. In 2010, Norton's role in Bored to Death was tailored by its creator Jonathan Ames, a fan of his.[1] In 2013, Norton revealed meetings to pitch a television show about a sex addict radio show host, but it was not picked up.[8]

In July 2014, Norton debuted his four-episode talk show, The Jim Norton Show, on VICE, a first for the network.[51] The show featured opening monologues, pre-recorded bits, and guest interviews including co-host Bailey Jay, comedians Dave Attell, Whitney Cummings, and Gilbert Gottfried, and Mike Tyson, Dana White and "Freeway" Rick Ross.[52] Norton had assistance with the writing from comedians Kurt Metzger and Jesse Joyce.[51] VICE had expressed an interest in filming more episodes, but Norton became unsure if the network had enough time for the project as they had grown in size.[21] Looking back on the project, Norton was pleased with its outcome and entered talks with regard to continuing the format with Vice and other networks.[27] In 2015, Norton starred in an episode of Quinn's parody television series Cop Show.[53] In April 2016, Norton revealed that he had shot two pilot episodes for a potential comedy series on the AMC channel. Though it was not picked up, the show was reworked into a discussion program where he hosts a panel who talk about a single subject for thirty minutes.[54]


In early 2007, Norton announced the near completion of his first book, a collection of stories of his life with anecdotes from his childhood and his comedy career. Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch was released on July 10, 2007.[55] It reached No. 4 on The New York Times Best Seller list under hardcover non-fiction,[56] and entered the Amazon.com Top 10 for books the day it was released, peaking at No. 7.

Norton released his second book, I Hate Your Guts, on November 4, 2008. It reached No. 13 on The New York Times Best Seller list under hardcover non-fiction.[57] He criticizes people in the book, including Al Sharpton, Keith Olbermann, and Steve Martin, which includes a rant that Norton later regretted and has since apologized for to Martin.[58]


In 2002, Norton appeared on the short film Crooks, a straight to video release about postal workers staling stamps.[1] Norton has had various cameo appearances such as in the 2002 film Spider-Man and the 2008 film Zack and Miri Make a Porno. He has also appeared in the films Furry Vengeance , Cop Out and Special Correspondents. Norton recalled around 2003 being a time when his acting career had gained some momentum.[59]

In 2016, Norton landed a role in From Nowhere, a critically acclaimed independent film about three teenagers from the Bronx.[20] This was followed by an appearance in Pitching Tents.[59] Norton had a pivotal role in the 2008 film Courting Condi, counseling Devin Ratray on how to win the heart of Condoleezza Rice.[60]

Personal life

In 2005, Norton was the best man at the wedding of comedians Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane. In 2007, Norton bought an apartment in one of Donald Trump's buildings in the Upper West Side of New York City.[61][1] He is a longtime fan of Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, and KISS.[62] Norton is a supporter of prostitution.[63]

Norton suffers from sleep apnea.[24]

Selected works


Year Title Notes
2003 Yellow Discipline Recorded at The Stress Factory in New Brunswick, New Jersey
2005 Trinkets I Own Made from Gorilla Hands Recorded at The Stress Factory
2011 Despicable Recorded at The Stress Factory
2012 No Baby For You! Recorded in Boston in 2007


Year Title Notes
2005 One Night Stand: Jim Norton 30 minute HBO special
2007 Monster Rain Recorded at The Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C.
2009 Down and Dirty with Jim Norton Stand-up showcase, hosted by Norton
2012 Please Be Offended 1 hr EPIX special recorded at Ohio Theatre in Cleveland, OH
2013 American Degenerate 1 hr EPIX special recorded in Boston
2015 Contextually Inadequate 1 hr EPIX special recorded in Boston
2017 A Mouthful of Shame 1 hour Netflix special recorded in New York


Year Title Notes
2007 Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch Foreword by Colin Quinn
2008 I Hate Your Guts A collection of 35 venomous essays



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Brokers Homeless Guy
2000 Sidesplitters: The Burt & Dick Story Dick Short film
2000 Ed Ernie Two episodes
2002 Run Ronnie Run! Police Officer Uncredited
2002 American Dummy Eddie Barnum Short film
2002 Errors, Freaks & Oddities Paul
2002 Spider-Man Surly Truck Driver
2002 Rock Bottom Diesel
2002 'Crooks Paul Short film
2003 The Gynecologists Sheldrake Short film
2006 Bully Officer Morrison (Voice) Video game
2006-07 Lucky Louie Rich 13 episodes
2008 Zack and Miri Make a Porno Auditioner
2008 Grand Theft Auto IV Joseph Kaplan, Chuck Jones from Just or Unjust (voice) Video game
2008 Courting Condi Himself
2009 Z Rock Himself 1 episode
2010 Cop Out George
2010 Furry Vengeance Hank
2010 Bored to Death Jim Episode: "The Gowanus Canal Has Gonorrhea!"
2010-15 Louie Jim / Pig 10 episodes
2012 True Bromance Best Bro
2012 Who Is Tara Thomas? Himself Short film
2013-16 Inside Amy Schumer Various 5 episodes
2014 Teachers Lounge Head of Security
2014 Top Five Himself
2015 Deadbeat Carl Episode: "The Spank Job"
2015 Benders Brian Beale Episode: "Wake 'Em Up"
2015 The Knick Camera Man Episode: "Williams and Walker"
2015 Trainwreck Carriage Driver
2016 From Nowhere Louis
2016 Special Correspondents Rent Boy
2016 Nightcap Himself Episode: "A-List Thief"
2016 The Comedian Himself
2016 Pitching Tents Mr. Mulligan
2016-2017 Power Father Callahan 8 episodes
2017 Crashing Himself Episode: "The Baptism"


Year Title Notes
2005 One Night Stand
2007 Jim Norton: Monster Rain Stand-up special
2012 Jim Norton: Please Be Offended Stand-up special
2012 Jim Norton: American Degenerate Stand-up special


Year Title Notes
1998 The Jim Breuer Show Episode: "Pilot"
1998 White Chicks, Incorporated
2002 Comedian Documentary
2002 Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn
2004 Meet The Creeps Vol. 1
2004 Last Comic Standing Episode: "Las Vegas Finals: Part 2"
2004-11 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Episode: "Las Vegas Finals: Part 2"
2005 One Night Stand Episode: "Jim Norton"
2006 Al Franken: God Spoke Documentary
2006-09 Late Show with David Letterman 2 episodes
2007 Lucky Louie: A Week In The Life 1 episode
2007 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 1 episode
2007 Jim Norton: Monster Rain Stand-up special
2007-12 Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld
2008 The Gong Show with Dave Attell 2 episodes
2008 Down and Dirty with Jim Norton 4 episodes
2008 The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget
2009 Impaled: Painfully Blunt! Documentary
2009 The Tragic Side of Comedy TV Documentary
2009-13 Hannity
2009-14 Chelsea Lately 8 episodes
2010 Just for Laughs 1 episode
2011 That Metal Show 1 episode
2011 Looking for Lenny Documentary
2011 Dave's Old Porn Episode: "Jim Norton/Seka"
2011 Imagine Episode: "The Art of Stand-Up - Part Two"
2011- The Joe Rogan Experience 6 episodes
2012 The Rock & Roll Roast of Zakk Wylde
2012 Jim Norton: Please Be Offended Stand-up special
2012 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon 1 episode
2012 The Burn with Jeff Ross 1 episode
2012 Love You, Mean It with Whitney Cummings 1 episode
2013 Rock and Roll Roast of Dee Snider
2013 Four Courses with J.B. Smoove
2013 The Jeselnik Offensive 1 episode
2013 Insane Clown Posse Theater 1 episode
2013 Jim Norton: American Degenerate Stand-up special
2013-14 Kevin Pollak's Chat Show 2 episodes
2014 I Am Road Comic Documentary
2014 Comedy Underground with Dave Attell 1 episode
2014 The Jim Norton Show 4 episodes
2014 @midnight 1 episode
2015 Misery Loves Comedy Documentary
2015 Jim Norton: Contextually Inadequate Stand-up special
2016 The Eric Andre Show 1 episode
2017 Gilbert Documentary


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  55. ^ Norton, Jim (2007). Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch. Simon Spotlight Entertainment. ISBN 978-1-4169-5022-6.
  56. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. July 29, 2007. Retrieved 2010. 
  57. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction - List - NY Times". New York Times. November 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008. 
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  63. ^ Norton, Jim (6 August 2014). "In Defense of Johns". Time. Retrieved 2017. 


  • Norton, Jim (2007). Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-416-56538-3. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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