R.I.P. Norm Crosby, comedian who always knew the wrong words to say
He performed for Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson and guest starred on Adam-12 three times.
Norm Crosby was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1927. After serving in WWII while still a teenager, he went into advertising. Inspired by comedians he saw on The Ed Sullivan Show, Crosby began trying out jokes at local bars and clubs. He soon developed material around the idea of using completely unrelated but similar sounding words in place of the correct ones. These malapropisms, which sounds exactly like the kind of word Norm Crosby would substitute in, became his signature act.
He toured the country and performed on the very shows that inspired him to pursue comedy. Ed Sullivan, who described his guest as "wanted for the cold-blooded murder of the English language," invited Crosby on his show eleven times. But that was nothing compared to the number of appearances Crosby made on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Starting in the 1960s and continuing well into the 1980s, Crosby appeared on the iconic late-night program more than 50 times.
Crosby was also a favorite of Dean Martin, getting laughs on both Martin's variety show and celebrity roasts. Even brands took advantage of his act. In the 1980s, he pitched the "ecumenical" prices of Red Lobster's "shrimp and seafood complications."
Crosby wore hearing aids his whole adult life after suffering hearing loss during the war. "I was on a sub-chaser in the North Atlantic and the depth charges made a terrific sound, it was very loud and you could feel it through your bones," he said in a 2003 interview. But Crosby was never ashamed and even brought it up on The Tonight Show.
"I remember telling Johnny Carson, on the air, that I had a wonderful new hearing aid," Crosby related. "He asked, 'What kind is it?' And I said, 'About a quarter to eleven.' So, he let me bring this up and make it a topic for discussion in America's living rooms."
In addition to comedy, Norm Crosby guest-starred on classic shows like Adam-12, The Love Boat and L.A. Law. He was 93.
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Great that he made it to 93...Seemed like a great guy....
Here's the post from before:
It's nice to share the gift of laughter and to bring a smile to the feces of people everywhere. A good joke will make you laugh so much that you'll have a steer in your eye.
Now the post has disappeared. Come on, MeTV... this was not an exercise in vulgarity, but rather the same type of play on words that Mr. Crosby used in his routines.
Censorship of this petty nature makes the censor look small and petty as well.
In fact, I'll bet this post will be removed shortly, because it somehow 'violates' MeTV's standards - in other words... they have little to no sense of humor and can't discern between a playful turn on words and straightforward vulgarity! Not cool, MeTV!
Chico (testifying in court): "That's-a rear elephant" ("That's irrelevant")
As Groucho comes to the Sanity Clause of a contract... Chico: "Ah, you cannot fool-a me! There's no such-a thing as a Sanity Clause!" (Santa Claus)
Goldwyn: "An oral agreement is not worth the paper it's printed on."
Goldwyn: "I shoulda stood in bed."
Goldwyn: "Include me out."
Berra: "You can observe a lot by just watching."
Berra: "Take it with a grin of salt."
Berra: "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
"Three cheers for our queer old dean!" (rather than "dear old queen," which is a reference to Queen Victoria)
"Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?" (as opposed to "customary to kiss")
"The Lord is a shoving leopard." (instead of "a loving shepherd")
"A blushing crow." ("crushing blow")
It was abhorrant that Norm Crosby had a weight with words... Every condiment he made was chock full of wit and porpoise.
(I realize that no one could twist the English language like Norm could, but this is my little homage to him. Rest in Pleats, Norm. You lived a good life and brought a smile to many a faith.)