Norm Crosby

Norm Crosby
Los Angeles Times


Norm Crosby
TV: South side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actor | Comedian | Writer
Born Sept. 15, 1927 in Boston, Mass.

Norm Crosby is Mr. Malaprop, the funny kid at school and neighborhood comic who won great fame as a comedian. His improvised monologues are famously filled with malapropisms and fractured English.

"Malapropism" has gone into the language as a misuse of words through confusion in which one word sounds something like the right one but is ludicrously wrong. Crosby has refined it to an art and made a career out of it, thanks to regular visits with television personalities Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin.

He might describe a major league ballclub struggling with controversy as "riddled with distinction." When he goes to a tailor, it’s because his pants need "an altercation," When people can’t read or write, you get a problem with "illegitimacy." He frequently introduces the musicians in his nightclub act as "that fine musical aggravation," and notes that a "catastrophe" is a punctuation mark, usually used in words like "don't" and "shouldn’t" (those are known as "contradictions").

The Boston-born comedian, who wears a hearing aid with no detriment to his career, claims his confidence made it clear to him that he was doing all right and goaded him into doing his best. Crosby started by playing weekend club dates in New England. He toured hotels and theaters around the country for three years with singer Robert Goulet before things began to break for him on his own.

His nightclub career soon blossomed into a long-term contract at Las Vegas’ Sahara Hotel, plus extras such as an engagement at Boston’s former Cocoanut Grove nightclub. Frequent television panel shows grew him a following that Crosby holds responsible for his booming career in the clubs.

Norm became a commercial pitchman for Anheuser-Busch in the late 1970s, promoting the company’s Natural Light beer. In recent years, he has appeared in the film "Cougar Club" (2007), Bob Saget’s "Farce of the Penguins" (2006) and as a longtime co-host for the "Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon," a variety show that raises money for the Muscular Dystrophy Assn.

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