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CONCORD, NH – Over the past couple of years, Mark Normand has been steadily rising to the echelon of being one of the top stand-up acts within the comedy industry. He’s performed both around the United States and in other countries while performing on numerous late-night TV programs including Conan, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He’s also acted on a couple TV shows by playing roles as part of Inside Amy Schumer and Horace and Pete.
Along with all this, he’s also established a steady presence in the world of podcasting. On November 18, Normand is going to be doing what he does best while performing at the Chubb Theatre within the Capitol Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. as part of his “Ya Don’t Say Tour.”
We had a chat ahead of the show about him starting out in his hometown of New Orleans, how he got into podcasting, currently living in New York City and his plans for the imminent future.
Rob Duguay: You’re from New Orleans, which is more known for music than comedy, so what was it like for you starting your stand-up career there in “The Big Easy?”
Mark Normand: It was weird, there’s definitely a small ceiling of comedy over there. You can find a few bar shows, but it’s still a fun town and a weird place to grow up. New Orleans is fun at night and it’s a good time but when you wake up you feel horrific.
RD: That’s a pretty good way to put it. New Orleans is known for having brass bands and street bands playing all over the city in public areas, so have you had a set of yours or have you seen any other comedian’s set interrupted by one of the many brass bands that call the city home?
MN: No, I’ve never really had to deal with that. There was one time that I had a funeral go by during a show, but I never had a brass band. They’re out there though, you can’t miss them. I mostly had to deal with my high school friends heckling me from the audience.
RD: Along with doing stand-up, you’re a part of a couple podcasts with “Tuesdays With Stories” with Joe List and “We Might Be Drunk” with Sam Morrill. What initially made you want to get into podcasting? Did you have any radio experience before realizing that doing a podcast would be a good aspect to your comedy career?
MN: I don’t think anyone who does podcasting has any radio experience, a lot of them are brutal. I think podcasts are a great medium for comics because we can talk, we can riff, we can be funny and it gets us out into people’s ears. You only put out a few stand-up specials in your life, you might do 10 if you’re lucky, and with podcasts you can get to the people. You’re on their weekly schedule and you just stay with them.
RD: That makes sense, I can see that. Do you still live in New York City?
MN: I do. I sure do. Yes, it’s a fun time and a hell of a town.
RD: I totally agree. Do you feel that growing up in a city like New Orleans better prepared you for the fast-paced environment that New York City has? Did it take any sort of adjusting for you at first when you moved there?
MN: What prepared me was the violence, crime, mugging and terrifying people. New Orleans has a dark side, people don’t realize that. They think it’s all crawfish and king cake, it’s definitely not fast-paced. That city operates very slow, you might be waiting 20 minutes for your morning coffee due to some chit-chattin’ and it’s got a down-home feel. The fast pacing of New York City was definitely something that I had to get used to, but I enjoy it now. When I go back home, I’m always telling people to keep it moving.
RD: After the show at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, what are your plans for the holidays and going into 2024? Do you have a special that’s coming out or any acting gigs you’ve been working on?
MN: Well, I can act, even though I stink. I’m always trying to write a new hour and I’m always trying to come up with stuff. I’m podcasting so much a week and I just want to keep on doing stand-up. I just put out a new special on Netflix back in July so I need to build some new material, but the special is called “Soup to Nuts” so people should go check it out.