‘Norm Macdonald Has a Show’ on Netflix— Audience Deep Dive

Sep 18, 2018 | Insights

L-R: David Letterman, Norm Macdonald, and Adam Eget

On Friday, September 14, Netflix premiered 10 episodes of their latest unscripted show — ala ‘Chelsea’ or this year’s ‘The Break with Michelle Wolf’ — featuring stand-up comic, and former ‘SNL’ “Weekend Update” anchor, Norm Macdonald. Called ‘Norm Macdonald Has a Show,’ the program follows the loose and deliberately unpolished feel and format of his audio / video podcast ‘Norm Macdonald Live.’ ‘Live’ was broadcast courtesy of the comedy production collective, JASH; a sort of alt-comedy United Artists, born of a partnership between Michael Cera, Tim & Eric, Sarah Silverman, and Reggie Watts. The episodes were initially streamed live, and then archived on YouTube. It ran between 2013 and 2017.

Making the leap along with Norm from ‘Live’ to ‘…Has a Show’ is sidekick Adam Eget. Macdonald first met Eget when the latter was working as a manager at the Tempe Improv (an Arizona-based outlet of the legendary Improv comedy clubs). It seems Norm brought Eget on board simply because they were friends, and Macdonald thought it would be funnier to have an unpolished, non-performer sidekick. Eget — who currently works as a manager at Los Angeles’ legendary Comedy Store, where he’s been since 2014 — still brings his non-performer manner to the show, even after five years sitting in the sidekick seat.

The 10 episodes feature — as his podcast did — a mix of Norm’s friends, A-list celebs, and people of specific interest to Norm simply due to his being an admirer. None of these are mutually exclusive from the other, of course. His guests are (in order of episode number): David Spade, Drew Barrymore, Judy “Judge Judy” Sheindlin, David Letterman, Jane Fonda, Chevy Chase, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Keaton, Billy Joe Shaver, and Lorne Michaels.

L-R: Jane Fonda (who, it must be noted, looks outstanding for 80), Norm Macdonald

While Macdonald almost seems to pride himself on not being everyone’s cup of tea, it’s difficult to imagine his fans being disappointed with the show. It delivers precisely what it promises. Not only is his irreverent humor on display, but so too are his keen intellect and sincere curiosity.

It is, in fact, Macdonald’s fans — or more specifically fans of Macdonald’s show — on whom we’ll be focusing here. We put our StatSocial social media audience analysis engine to work, first identifying the many thousands of positive mentions to be found regarding ‘Norm Macdonald Has a Show’ during its debut weekend on Netflix. Then we asked the engine to tell us all it could about those thousands of people.

To give our insights context, they are all being compared in relation to the same insights for the average American social media audience.

Just as Norm himself confounds the preconceived notions of some, regarding what kind of a man he is or beliefs he holds, so too does his audience seem to be more diverse than many might assume.

Let’s start with the top-line basic demographics, and then dive more deeply into learning who, precisely, was taking to social media over the weekend to sing the praises of Netflix’s newest talk show. In other words, StatSocial identified the audience that was talking positively about Norm’s new show across social media. Below are uniquely social insights on that audience.

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An Explanation of the Insights Below:

These insights are sorted according to our index score. What that tells you, at a glance, is the degree to which the audience being analyzed either exceeds, is in line with, or falls short of the average American social media audience — the baseline we’re using for this piece — when it comes to sharing in a given affinity. Our platform allows tremendous flexibility in terms of what baseline you may use to give your statistics context, but for this we’re going with the U.S. average.

Raw audience numbers are an important statistic, but can be misleading, or only tell you part of a story. For example, Ellen DeGeneres has 76 million followers on Twitter, 29 million on Facebook, 27 million subscribers on YouTube, and so forth. President Obama has larger numbers than those.

If such figures occupy the top spots on a list — and generally speaking immensely popular figures and/or brands, etc., when sorted by raw numbers, will top as many audiences’ lists as not — our index metric is what tells you how meaningful, in the grand scheme, that raw number result is.

Viewing an audiences’ affinities through the lens of our index score is one of the key insights into what’s distinctive about that audience. Armed with that knowledge, how to go about reaching that audience — if this increased clarity has led you to conclude they’re an audience you’d like to reach — should be far more obvious.

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An explanation of how to read this chart, and all such charts you’ll find on the StatSocial platform: The bar in blue, and the percentage within, represents the social media audience being analyzed (in this case, fans of Netflix’s ‘Norm Macdonald Has a Show’). The bar in grey, and the percentage within, represents the baseline. For these entries, that is the average American social media audience. The index score to the right represents the degree to which the corresponding statistic for this audience is either in line with, exceeds, or falls short of the baseline. Index scores consistent with or greater than the baseline are in green, and those that are under-indexed are in red.

A not insignificant three-quarters of those logging on to social media this weekend to declare their affinity for Norm’s latest series were male.


The audience for this show seems to skew decidedly older. With those ages 34 and under indexing rather significantly below the baseline. Those ages 18 to 24 fall short of the baseline by 8%. Conversely, those aged 45 to 54 can be found in this audience to a degree exceeding the average U.S. social media audience by over one-and-a-half times.


Those earning $50k and up are indexed below the baseline, but not to too dramatic a degree. Those pulling in under $50k a year can be found among this crowd to an extent a little over one-and-one-tenth times in excess of the baseline.


If anything more so than the above list could illustrate the diversity of outlooks and interests to be found among Norm’s fans, we’d love to see it. The ACLU, NRA, CIA, and Amnesty International surely do, or most likely do, share supporters. Still, having them cozying up next to each other here, and each finding affinity among this audience to a degree exceeding the baseline by close to, or over, two-and-a-half times each makes for a fascinating and telling discovery, the likes of which we don’t often see here at StatSocial.


For a better illustration of what our insights might tell a marketer, we’ve broken this category into two sections; Netflix programs, and non-Netflix programs.


The streaming giant’s original series ‘G.L.O.W.’ (a loose dramatization of the story of ’80s syndicated TV powerhouse ‘The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling’) tops the list here. Fans of the Marc Maron and Alison Brie starring show can be found among this crowd to a degree exceeding the baseline by 43 ¾ times.

Macdonald’s fellow Canadians, the team behind the long, long-running ‘Trailer Park Boys’ find affinity among this crowd to a degree exceeding the average American social media crowd by nearly 14 ⅔ times.


Topping the list is ‘Roseanne,’ a show for which Norm was a writer before he was famous, during its original run, and for which he wrote again during its unexpectedly, massively successful return this year. Since the ousting of the show’s titular star, it seems that while the program is to be returning to TV in some form, Norm will not be on board. This crowd, however, is on board for ‘Roseanne’ — the TV series — to a degree exceeding the baseline by a whopping 58 times.

Canadian series ‘Schitt’s Creek’ — created by SCTV legend Eugene Levy, along with his son, Daniel — rates highly, finding fans here to a degree exceeding the baseline by over 38 ⅔ times. Another of Norm’s fellow countrymen is on the list, Tom Green, who finds favor for his groundbreaking online and syndicated talk show among this group to a degree approaching 34 times.


As was suggested by Norm’s short-lived, satirical 2011 Comedy Central show, ‘Sports Show with Norm Macdonald’ — and perhaps even more directly by Norm himself— the comedian is an avid sports fan. The national sport of Norm’s homeland — of which, accordingly, he is a huge fan — is well represented below. As is a Canadian franchise repping for America’s pastime, and some other major sports clubs as well.

Norm’s favorite team, the New York Yankees of hockey (in terms of winning championships, not in terms of being loathed by all but their fans), the Montréal Canadiens, come in second place on this list. They find affinity among this audience to a degree five-and-three-fifths times greater than the average U.S. social media audience.


Norm is rather well-known for being an avid reader. Although Norm is the very picture of unpretentious, he is all the same wont to namecheck authors such as Tolstoy, Nabokov, and Twain. Non-fiction seems to rule the roost when looking at the authors for whom this audience exhibits the strongest affinities.

But again, a diversity of world views and ideologies are evident, strongly suggesting that Norm’s audience are drawn to him because he’s funny. Norm, from what we can tell, wouldn’t have it any other way.


In terms of broad-spanning general interests, it’s a bit of a potpourri, really, again representing a profile for this audience that is both fascinating and not easily pigeonholed.


As you’ll find elsewhere on the StatSocial site, we explain StatSocial Clusters with the words below:

About StatSocial Clusters

Our data scientists have modeled the entire US population into 200 unique clusters. Using billions of inputs for over 120M US consumers, we have segmented naturally occurring population clusters across distinct demographic and household types, personality traits provided by IBM Watson, combined with people’s passions, which we have sourced from their social activities online. For those familiar with traditional clustering models such as PRIZM, Personicx, Mosaic, and Tapestry, we believe this layer of social behaviors, which only StatSocial can offer, provides the richest possible insights into what motivates different types of people. We think you’re going to love the context our cluster analysis will provide.

You can click through here to read our descriptions of all 200 unique segments.

Here are the Clusters most highly indexed among those who took to social media over the weekend to sing the praises of ‘Norm Macdonald Has a Show’ in contrast to the average American social media crowd:

From the above linked to page, here are the descriptions of each Cluster:

  1. Sons & Daughters o’ The Funny (those belonging to this Cluster occur here to a degree exceeding the baseline by comfortably over eight-and-one-tenth times)
    With this group of city-dwellers, in their mid-30s-to-early-40s, 56% of whom are women, their common affinities tell us comedy is king. IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® tells us they are Open to a degree slightly above average, and Agreeable to a degree comfortably below. They are also, though, less Neurotic. Their above-referenced tastes in the funny, which bond them together, range from more upscale fare, such as Albert Brooks and the TV show ‘Arrested Development,’ to the more take no prisoners stuff like Howard Stern and Seth MacFarlane. Late-night talk hosts find love with Conan, Kimmel, and their ilk, also present and accounted for
  2. Left-Handed Smoke-Shifter (those belonging to this Cluster occur here to a degree exceeding the baseline to a degree over five-and-two-fifths times)
    This collection of folks is 69% female and living entirely in the city. The Agreeable are in short supply in their midst. The Conscientious are present to no more than a middling degree. IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® does add, though, that they’re not terribly Neurotic. Their common ground? Well, the affinities they share include the publication ‘Mother Jones,’ U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and suffice to say nothing from there on out much contradicts expectation. If needed to be spelled out, though, these folks appear to be of a liberal, or if you prefer, progressive political leaning.
  3. A Leftward Slant (those belonging to this Cluster occur here to a degree exceeding the baseline by about three-and-two-fifths times)
    This group resides so entirely within the city, the city practically resides within them. 53% male, and a mid-40s crowd. IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® has concluded from their analysis of our data that this cadre is not even a little Agreeable. Also, this lot is only a hair above moderately Conscientious, and not at all outgoing. But they are profoundly Open to new experiences, and virtually free of Neuroses. They’re liberals, or at least seem to lean that way. What we know for certain is that their shared affinities read like a what’s what and who’s who of the nation’s most prominent, leftward leaning newspapers, magazines, websites, and bloggers/columnists.
  4. Hoooray for Hollywood (those belonging to this Cluster occur here to to a degree about three-and-two-thirds times in excess of the baseline)
    City-dwellers, 60% female, and in their late-30s-to-early-40s. Their mutual affinities are not specific filmmakers or films, but instead the many film studios and production companies dotting the Hollywood landscape (meaning, Universal, Paramount, etc.). IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® says fewer Agreeable and outgoing types are to be found here. In addition to loving those who spend the big bucks to bring us entertainment all year, they are also quite pronouncedly not Neurotic. This suggests they are not actors, screenwriters, filmmakers, producers, or in any way involved in film production. But who’s to say? They are a Conscientious crew, and notably Open to new experiences.
  5. Puck Heads (those belonging to this Cluster occur here to to a degree about three-and-two-thirds times in excess of the baseline)
    In the rural-‘burbs you will find these 59% male, mid-30s-to-40-somethings. While akin to a religion in Canada, down here hockey is often treated like the runt of the pro sports litter. Walking anywhere within the vicinity of Madison Square Garden after a Rangers game, however, one would have a difficult time believing that. Not the NFL, granted, nonetheless the fans the game does have in the lower-48 are dedicated. IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® tells us these fans are dead-on averagely Neurotic, notably below-average in terms of being Agreeable, and a hair above the norm when it comes to being Open.
  6. Hipsters (those belonging to this Cluster occur here to a degree exceeding the baseline by a little over three-and-a-quarter times)
    With this throng, urbanites in their 30s, you’ve just got to call it like it is. These are hipsters. Men and women (54% the latter) in their 20s and 30s. They listen to arena-headlining musical acts, but take their pride in their refined tastes; Bjork, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, etc. Their excitement over LCD Soundsystem’s return has been unrestrained. Pitchfork readers, still, and if they can, they attend each year’s SXSW. They laugh at themselves, watching ‘Portlandia.’ ‘Vice’ is a valued news source. Open above all other personality traits. IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® also says they are equal parts Neurotic and Conscientious, which is a hair below average.
  7. Rating the Superhunks(those belonging to this Cluster occur here to a degree exceeding the baseline to a degree about three-and-a-quarter times)
    The group subject to scrutiny here is 76% female, in their 30s, and living in the suburbs. IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® tells us they are, just a modicum in excess of the average, both Agreeable, and Neurotic. A passing glance at the grouping of shared affinities binding these folks together suggests a penchant for the pec-tacular and well abdominized. Names like McConaughey, Chris Evans, Channing Tatum, and the like leap out. But once you wipe the muscles out of your eyes, you’ll notice Samuel L. Jackson, Seth Rogen, and even Emma Watson in there as well. It’s movie stars who seem to really predominate. And, well, movie stars tend to be good looking.
  8. Ready to Rumble (those belonging to this Cluster occur here to a degree exceeding the baseline by a hair over two-and-nine-tenths times)
    MMA and social media timed their coupling beautifully. Each made its ascent at the dawn of the ’00s. The latter played a large part in the growth of this once maligned sport. Social media gave the athletes a voice, and the public learned there was more to MMA than some bloodbath freakshow. These were serious practitioners of martial arts, disciplined and philosophical. The accessibility to fans, increased personal investment. Here we have 78% men in their mid-30s-to-early-40s, in the country, and definitely invested in their favorite fighters. IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® shows a tribe notably lacking in Conscientiousness and Agreeableness. Otherwise, though, an even-keeled clique.
  9. Rustic Rasslin’ (those belonging to this Cluster occur here to a degree exceeding the baseline by two-and-nine-tenths times)
    This assortment of largely dudes in their 20s and 30s enjoy what Vince McMahon, Jr. came to rebrand as “sports entertainment.” But you and we, and we’d bet most of those in this bunch, still call it good ol’ professional wrestling. Era-wise, they seem partial to wrestling from the 90s’ “Attitude Era” to the current day. Neurotic as they are outgoing, and neither to an especially excessive degree, IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® shows all other traits as not being dominant at all. What dominates is a love of men in tights grappling, with a storyline of intrigue and betrayal providing a backdrop for it all.
  10. HipComs Plus(those belonging to this Cluster occur here to a degree exceeding the baseline by just about two-and-two-thirds times)
    IBM Watson’s Personality Insights® tells us this group of suburbanites, 79% women and largely in their late-20s-to-early-30s are most significantly Neurotic. To rather dramatically lesser degrees they are then outgoing (Extraverted) and Agreeable. What makes them simpatico, though, is a mutual love for some of the 2000s slightly hipper network sitcoms. Meaning the likes of ‘Parks & Rec,’ ‘The ‘Office,’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ So dedicated are they to ‘Parks’ that “woodworking” is one of their affinities (a defining obsession of the show’s Ron Swanson character).

PERSONALITIES (courtesy of IBM Watson™ Personality Insights)

Among the vast many audience insights uncovered in every StatSocial report is an analysis of the personality types most prevalent in the audience our engine is being employed to analyze. The ability to derive these spectacularly useful and unique insights from our audience data comes via our proud partnership with IBM Watson™ and our integration of their Personality Insights tool into our reporting.

Personality Insights, in the case of its application to StatSocials audience insights, processes all the public online writings — on social media, blogs, message boards, comments threads, and so forth — of those comprising the audience being analyzed. Using sophisticated linguistic analytics, Personality Insights infers the characteristics of each audience member. Starting with the widely applied Big Five taxonomy of personality traits and psyche. From there Watson™ analyzes further, uncovering needs, values, and more.

Visit the IBM Watson™ Personality Insights website for more in depth explanations.

Five of the most highly indexed personality types to be found among those touting the virtues of ‘Norm Macdonald Has a Show’ this past weekend fall under the Big Five category of Openness. Characterized in the context of the Big Five as an “appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience.”

The personality traits under the Openness banner that are most predominant are Imagination, Intellect, and Liberalism. In this context the first two mean more or less precisely what most would anticipate, the third in the context of IBM Watson™ Personality Insights, though, does not relate to an overtly political stance or ideology. It means liberalism in the more classical sense of questioning authority and seeking freedom.

An explanation of much of this, including examples of how these personality traits are translated into practical marketing applications, can be found at the IBM Watson™ website which you can visit by clicking here.

Armed with these insights — as with all other StatSocial insights — you can ascertain to what degree your message is already reaching your desired consumer type, whether or not you’d like to be reaching a different or additional audience, and finally where in the wilds of social media that audience-type — be they more of who is already connecting with your brand, or those you’d like to sway to your brand’s favor — can be found.


The influencers of whom Norm’s show’s fans are most enamored represent a less stark contrast of types than many of the other lists featured here. Some right-leaning or out-and-out unabashedly right wing firebrands top off the list.

Norm caught some heat on Twitter this past winter for complimenting Jordan Peterson, but the controversial psychologist finds favor among those praising Norm’s show to a degree exceeding the baseline by a dramatic 44 times.

Another of Norm’s fellow Canadians, and like Peterson a polarizing figure, Stefan Molyneux finds admirers among this audience to a degree exceeding the average U.S. social media audience by 33 times.

Norm’s show is apolitical, by design and determination, but Norm has not made a secret of his feelings regarding the current U.S. president. He by no means has ever fallen in lockstep with any sort of party line. Comedians about whom the same could be said seem to finish off the influencers list. Norm’s dear friend — indeed it was Norm who introduced him to Howard Stern, which in turn made him a household name — Artie Lange finds admirers to a degree exceeding the baseline by 22 times. And Norm’s successor on the “‘Weekend Update” desk — after Norm found his seat taken from him to the surprise of both ‘SNL’’s viewers, and apparently Norm himself — Colin Quinn shares fans with Norm’s show to a degree exceeding the baseline by 20 ⅕ times.


As the roots of this show lie in the world of podcasting, or video podcasting, it seems fitting to close on a list of the favorite podcasts among those who took to the web over the weekend to sing the praises of ‘Norm Macdonald Has a Show.’

Husband and wife comedians Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitzky host the popular ‘Your Mom’s House’ podcast (and they’ve each had Netflix stand-up specials as well). The podcast finds favor among this crowd to a degree exceeding the baseline by a profound 39 times.

Comedy in general seems to be the podcasting preference among this gang.

The proportion of this audience who are fans of behemoths of the medium, Adam Carolla and Joe Rogan exceed the baseline by 25 ⅕ times and 13.7 times respectively.

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