Norm Macdonald Has a Show season 1, episode 5 recap: Jane Fonda


Jane Fonda guests on Episode 5 of Netflix series Norm Macdonald Has a Show. She discusses her ex-husbands, the Vietnam War and her lack of fear.

Norm begins this episode in an interesting way, by asking Jane Fonda who thinks is sexy. She mentions country star Blake Shelton and Tony Curtis. Jane and Norm also discuss Levon Helm, one of her co-stars in The Dollmaker, which won her a Primetime Emmy Award.

When the subject of her best-selling workout videos comes up, Norm asks her if she knew Richard Simmons. She says she does know him and is concerned about him withdrawing from public life.

On the subject of age, she says she doesn’t fear death and likes cultures that don’t fear death. In particular, she mentions how, as Americans are getting chocolate for Halloween, Mexicans go to graveyards with wine and bread.

After discussing the dog in her lap, Norm Macdonald says he would like to get a tortoise, so he could will it to his great-grandchildren.

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Jane Fonda on playing Nancy Reagan and acting in general

Jane Fonda played Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniel’s The Butler, which caused controversy (especially from conservatives). However, she says she found it easy to find compassion for Nancy Reagan.

Regarding acting, she stresses the importance of finding the humanity in characters. Or, if you’re playing someone bad, find what destroyed their humanity, so you can have compassion and see where the evil is coming from.

On that note, Norm brings up Fonda’s father Henry’s performance as the villainous Frank in Once Upon a Time in the West. Norm considers Frank one of the evilest characters from one of his favorite movies.

Jane says he initially didn’t want the role but finally gave in to the pressure. Henry Fonda was also a painter. She says she doesn’t miss him because she feels he’s with her everywhere.

In a poignant moment, Norm Macdonald suggests he doesn’t have the ability to turn on a movie to see his father, so she should feel blessed.

Jane Fonda’s ex-husbands

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Fonda briefly discusses her marriages to Roger Vadim, Tom Hayden and Ted Turner, saying that she’s drawn to people who are rebellious.

As an example, she claims that Ted Turner was out sailing while “stoned” when he came up with the idea for CNN.

Norm Macdonald muses that, because she’s drawn to powerful, rebellious, charismatic and wealthy men, she might find Donald Trump appealing — an obvious joke for someone decidedly on the left. Jane Fonda also reveals that she isn’t exactly Christian, though she is a believer in something.

Fonda on literature, Vietnam and fear

Jane Fonda spends a little time discussing books. In particular, she remembers the book Green Mansions, and how she forgot she was even reading during the process, and just “became the book.”

Then, although Norm Macdonald has a Show isn’t very topical, the subject of Fonda’s anti-war activism pretty much has to be mentioned, even if only in passing.

She says she doesn’t regret her general opposition to the Vietnam War, although a few things she ended up apologizing for. Interestingly, she says she doesn’t experience fear, even when she’s been around bombs falling, or when smoke bombs were thrown through her window due to her activism.

It’s an interesting statement and perhaps punctuated by her strong convictions at the time (and presumably since).

Other assorted notes

Jane Fonda doesn’t remember Ed McMahon being in the film, Fun with Dick and Jane. She smoked cigarettes until she was 30, and she and Norm Macdonald have smoked the same brand of French cigarettes (which isn’t surprising, with Norm being from Canada).

Norm claims his co-host Adam Eget was in a cult run by a man named Mel.

Surprisingly, Jane Fonda briefly mentions that she has a gun collection. Also surprisingly, she says Norm’s profile is like Marlon Brando’s.

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After trying a bad pickup line, Jane and Norm share a kiss. Last (but not least), Norm thinks the Canadian town of Guelph sounds like vomit.

That’s it for this Norm Macdonald has a Show recap! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!