Interview: Jim Norton back in town at Buckhead Theatre June 25

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: Comedian Jim Norton hosts the launch of SiriusXM's "Comedy Greats" at SiriusXM Studios on July 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 30: Comedian Jim Norton hosts the launch of SiriusXM’s “Comedy Greats” at SiriusXM Studios on July 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Thursday, June 23, 2016

Edgy Sirius/XM host and stand-up comic Jim Norton was not watching porn while talking to me.

“I can’t do that,” he said. “I’d hear nothing. I have to be fairly focused.”

Talking to the press to promote a show is no sweat for him. (He has his latest Atlanta gig at the Buckhead Theatre on Saturday night, June 25. Tickets are available here.)

“People have always been pretty nice,” Norton said. “It’s an easy thing to do. I have worked operating jobs. That was hard work. Calling up and chatting is pretty easy.”

But focusing is tough, he admits. “I’ve gotten much worse,” he said. “Smart phones. Texting. The Internet. Everything moves so quickly.”

He has been with what was originally the Opie & Anthony morning show on XM for 12 years and for the past two years continues to host with Gregg “Opie” Hughes since Anthony Cumia was fired. It’s now called “Opie With Jim Norton.”

“It’s hard,” Norton admits. “I mean, we’re doing the best we can. It’s not easy. He was such a big part of our daily life.” He and Anthony remain friends. “I talk to him often. He’s doing okay. He’s hanging in there making a go at his own show with his own network.”

Norton is buddies with Amy Schumer and Louie C.K. and has appeared multiple times on their TV shows (“Inside Amy Schumer” and “Louie” respectively’).

He is working on a new comedy special though he isn’t sure where it will land. His past three have been on Epix. Although Epix is not as big as Comedy Central, Showtime or Netflix, “I like having that control. They gave me total freedom to do what I wanted creatively. I feel very connected to Epix.”

Norton enjoys the Atlanta audiences when he comes here but doesn’t pretend he knows the city.

“I have a really good time performing there,” Norton said. “But I really don’t go out too much to be perfectly honest. I kind of stay in the hotel. I just go to the gym and sleep in. I don’t like to see stuff.”

And though his star has never risen as big as Shumer or Louie C.K., he is okay with his level of fame and makes a decent living.

“I’m very careful with my money,” he said. “I honestly am. I don’t buy crazy things. I just bought an apartment.” He resides in Manhattan, moving from the west side to the east side.

The fans in New York City treat him respectfully. “It’s nothing unbearable,” he said. “I’m not Louie or Amy, who can’t go anywhere in life. It’s very easy. I get some recognition.”

His conclusion: “I’m happy but of course, I’d take more.”

Norton said he doesn’t date much. He works – a lot. “I date but nothing really long term,” Norton said. “I haven’t had much luck. I probably haven’t met the right woman. Most probably know to stay away from me.”

COMEDY PREVIEW

Jim Norton “Mouthful of Shame”

8 p.m. Saturday, June 25

$39

Buckhead Theatre

3110 Roswell Rd, Atlanta

Buy tickets here


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