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Norm Crosby (born September 15, 1927) is a comedian sometimes associated with the Borscht Belt, but often seen on television in the 1970s. He is best known for his use of malapropisms, and is often called "The Master of Malaprop."

Born in Boston, he was originally half of the nightclub comedy team of Ethan Eichrodt and Norm Crosby. The act was a big draw at Bally's Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. The duo enjoyed the height of its popularity in the early 1950s.

Crosby went solo as a stand-up comedian, adopting a friendly, blue-collar, guy-next-door attitude. He often opened for top Vegas entertainers like Tom Jones, and would comment on this in his act: "I can't believe it, these ladies are flinging their panties at him on the stage. That's dangerous. If you've ever been hit with a flying panty...!"

Norm Crosby refined his stand-up monologues by interpolating malapropisms, in the manner of movie comedian Leo Gorcey. (Crosby's version of "He had panache" came out as "He had pistachio.") This was immediately successful, and Crosby has since become identified with fractured English. (Appropriately enough, he offered commentary when Turner Classic Movies' briefly revived Leo Gorcey's movies with The Bowery Boys.)

Since 1983 Norm Crosby has co-hosted and contributed to the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6560 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles.[1]

He appeared on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and did a short sketch with Judy Carne. She introduced him by saying, "And here's another draft card burner."

Crosby: Whadduya mean draft card? This is my Diner's Card!
Carne: What does that have to do with Vietnam?
Crosby: How should I know? I never ate there!

Crosby's non-malapropism wit could be devastating at times, as well. In 1978, appearing on Merv Griffin's long-running talk show, Helen Gurley Brown was the other guest. Brown was going on and on about how many men she had slept with, and if she saw a man that struck her fancy she had no reservations about inviting him home with her. At the end of the segment, Brown stated she had to leave, that she had to catch a plane in 30 minutes. She left to polite applause, As Griffin started to announce the commercial break, Crosby said: "God, I hope she doesn't get a good-looking cab driver. She'll never make it."

In the late 70s and early 80s Norm became a commercial pitchman for Anheuser-Busch Natural Light Beer. Many of these commercials featured other celebrities alongside of Norm plugging the brew with Norm saying, "Hey, look who switched to Natural Light!". The phrase briefly became a novelty catch phrase in the early 80s.

Trivia

  • Crosby is hard of hearing, because of concussion from depth charges during the war, and wears a hearing aid in each ear.[1]
  • Crosby has been a Freemason since 1956, having served as Master of at least one lodge and participating in many charitable activities. As of September 2005, he was a member of Ionic Composite Lodge #520 in Los Angeles.[1][2]

References

External links

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