Norm McDonald of Saturday Night Live and Norm fame returns with his latest attempt at a sitcom. Unfortunately, a dumb premise and a horrible ensemble prevented this show from ever getting off the ground as it was cancelled after the initial order of 13 episodes failed miserably.
McDonald is mildly funny, but he has always been better as a supporting cast member (see Billy Madison) and just cannot be the star of a show. Fred Willard is the only other cast member worth mentioning as he does a decent job with the horrible dialogue he is given.
This show is a train wreck, but with Universal HD its worth watching for that reason.
Norm MacDonald has admitted that "A Minute With Stan Hooper" is basically a rip-off of "Green Acres" (saying as much in an interview with Bill O'Reilly) where a city mouse couple, in this case Stan (Norm MacDonald) and his wife Molly (Penelope Ann Miller), move out to the country and become involved in fish-out-of-water-style comedy. In the "Pilot" episode, Stan & Molly make the move out to Waterford Falls.
In an odd twist, Norm MacDonald plays the straight-man in his own comedy show. In "The Norm Show," Norm MacDonald was the main source of comedy - however, in "A Minute With Stan Hooper," Norm seems to have been placed more (not completely) in the straight-man role. This is both good and bad: good because Norm's reactions to the crazy townspeople are funny but bad because Norm does not get to shine as much as he usually does.
This "Pilot" episode is one of the highlights of a slightly-above-average TV series, playing out like one of Norm MacDonald's yarn-style bits where the set-up is long, amusing, and unravels towards a knee-slapping hilarious punch-line.
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