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Well, look: yeah, Dennis was always an asshole. That was always part of the appeal - he was being an asshole about things I would have been an asshole about in a style I could admire.

Yet as the years have passed, his views and mine aren't necessarily on the same path all the time. Nobody's fault. It happens.

The interviews with Norm make Norm seem like the asshole to me, not Dennis (even though I think it's mostly part of Norm's "act" to say shit like that... and nothing I heard is even half as offensive as any 5-minute clip of Cross's or Patton Oswalt's stand-up routines). And although he does seem to really want to avoid Odenkirk's mushroom story, I didn't see as direct a path back to David's baldness as you did.

The Dennis Miller I think of now is the same Dennis Miller I thought of back then - an asshole who would sometimes miss the mark, or sometimes go over my head... but one who could usually be counted on to make a point in an interesting way. Whether I agree or not.

None of Miller's actual "rants" are posted here. I still think there's probably good meat on those old bones.


One more thing:

I didn't really pick up on the "bashing" either... Remember, he's friends with all those guys. And friends say completely inappropriate things to each other all the time, make shit out of each other, etc.

Should they do it on TV? Well, maybe not. Maybe that's not responsible. But if I was overweight, bald, gay or eating mushrooms, I don't think I would've felt bashed. (I know: easy to say...)


Good points, thanks. "Bashing" may have been over-the-top. I agree that he does come off less bad than Norm, but he seems to be a pretty crappy interviewer, more interested in how the interview is going than really interviewing.

I really wish I could have found a rant or two. I remember those as being clever and way tighter than that first clip above, where he really just seems to be rambling. What did he used to rant about, is what I most wanted answered. The tangents now just ain't so tangential as mashed and muddied, as he desperately clings to this new attempt to be the P.J. O'Rourke of the standup-set. Sad, is what I still stand behind. I would have rather found better examples of him at his best in the early to mid-90's than these weak interviews.

EF Matt

this is an excellent post.


You know what's excellent? I realized that I've totally contradicted myself.

From the post: "I think Miller, for all his attempts to keep this one on track comes off just as bad as MacDonald does."

From my last comment: "I agree that he does come off less bad than Norm"


This third me (I contain multitudes) offers a lame post-facto explanation. How about, "Miller comes off differently overall across both interview clips--bad, but different-bad--than MacDonald's bad"?

These are the horrors of passing unexamined judgments at 5:30 in the morning.


Thank you for confirming for me that he is and has always been an ass. It's one thing to be a clever smart aleck, and it's another to be a clever smart aleck who is an ass.


YES - a pretty crappy interviewer, indeed. I've always thought that about him. He seems to relish in talking to his comedy friends about "old times" and inside jokes.


I think this interview is downright hilarious. Remember, this is cable tv and the whole concept of talk cable tv talk was brand new (this predates Chris Rock, Bill Mahar, Ali G). It was the only outlet for uncensored uncensored materials. I'm sorry but straight men say these things privately to one another. Norm wasn't condemming their acts nor was he being judgmental -- He was being goofy. People have to stop holding comedians to high standards of political correctness.

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