Rather than seeming to notice things because he’s perceptive, however (in the way that Michael McIntyre, for instance, might), Macdonald takes a different pose. Sure, this is observational comedy, but here the observer sounds like a kind of idiot savant, or perhaps someone only very recently removed from a log cabin. Macdonald sees only “ladies” instead of women. His alcoholics speak about their addiction to “the demon rum”. When someone is told not to pry, the reason is it’s “none of your beeswax”. It enables him to visit the blackest areas – such as cancer, alcoholism or how best to go about stalking, capturing and murdering a woman – with extraordinary wit and charm. At the same time, his numbness seems to be the result of this black world.
Growing up and watching Norm is the reason why I say “ladies” instead of women. Over time I’ve found “women” to be very blunt and “ladies” to indicate something more gentle and delicate. This, I’ve been told, makes me sexist and old-fashioned.