Normand cleaning up his act — sort of

By John Benson

Comedian Mark Normand may be known for his racy humor, but the funnyman is currently working up a clean set that he hopes will land on David Letterman.

“I sent a couple of tapes in, and they said, ‘We like this joke and this joke, not this joke,’” Normand said. “So you have to keep sending in tapes until they like it. You really have to tiptoe that tightrope because everybody is so PC these days. You have to make a joke in a way that everybody is fine with but it’s still funny. It’s like light, mainstream and non-offensive stuff.”

For instance, Normand said his Letterman set currently includes jokes about Facebook, Google and losing his hair. Considering the funnyman is prepping for a late-night network television appearance he hopes happens in early 2014, that means things are happening in his career.

“I just submitted to do a half hour for Comedy Central,” Normand said. “I’m opening for Amy Schumer all over the country, and now I’m finally starting to get out on my own and headline.”

This explains why the New Orleans native and New York City resident is making his Youngstown debut Friday and Saturday at The Funny Farm Comedy Club.

It’s been a fun 2013 so far for the comic who appeared on TBS’s “Conan,” Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” and MTVx’s “Inside Joke,” as well as won Caroline’s March Madness competition beating out 63 other comedians.

Apparently, audiences have warmed up to his irreverent style, which covers touchy subjects such as race, sexuality and gender.

“I got called white trash once in a review,” Normand said. “I guess it was all of the racial material. The whole thing is, I’m saying I’m pro-gay, anti-racism, but people are hearing buzz words. They flip out and want to be a hero. It’s like, if you hear the word pedophile, that doesn’t mean I like touching kids. It means I’m maybe making fun of pedophiles.”

When asked if there was any subject matter he wouldn’t talk about, Normand jumped at the opportunity to show off his humor.

“No, I talk about everything,” Normand said. “From pedophiles and Jews to grocery stores. Well, you don’t want to go to the grocery store with a Jewish pedophile. That’s for sure.”

The biggest thing Normand wants Northeast Ohio audiences to know about his set is that it may not be for everyone.

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