Comedian Jim Norton Shares The R-Rated ‘Dirty Stuff’ He Tried To Get Into Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Comedian Jim Norton thinks Spider-Man stinks. If you listen to Norton on his daily SiriusXM talk show Jim and Sam – or follow his new Youtube Channel with his wife titled Nikki and Jim – this should come as no surprise. Norton thinks a lot of people stink. But Spidey fans who returned to theaters a few weeks back to revisit Raimi’s initial 2002 film got to see Norton in his celebrated cameo role, playing one of the many New Yorkers who hate Spider-Man’s guts. The scene looked like this:

However, it could have gone VERY differently. What follows is an entertaining conversation with Jim Norton about his past film roles, his current radio and YouTube endeavors, and his plans to take his act back on tour. 

Green Goblin and Spider-Man

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

‘He stinks, and I don’t like him.’

During a recent conversation with Jim Norton on behalf of his new YouTube Channel, the comic and actor opened up about his day on set shooting the lines for his brief shot in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, still one of the best Spider-Man movies ever made. And the way that Norton remembers it, things got pretty raunchy. According to the comic:

I didn't even meet Sam Raimi. It was second unit, so I shot it in Queens. I just (improvised) a bunch of stuff. That was all it was, and they used those couple of lines. I was improving dirty stuff, like stuff about him shooting web. It was masturbation type stuff. … And they're like, ‘Look, kids are going to see this.’ I'm like, ‘Oh, right. Good point. Ixnay on the jizz-ay.’

Norton went on to joke that Spider-Man being back in theaters has led to a fresh wave of recognition on the streets of his native New York City. Norton told CinemaBlend:

I've been ducking in and out of buildings, hiding behind a newspaper. I mean, it's become like Alec Baldwin where they can't stop tormenting me (laughs). They don't want me to say, ‘Free Palestine.’ They're saying, ‘Just say the line! Do the, He stinks! line. It's funny, I've gotten a bunch of messages from people about Spider-Man recently, and I didn't know why. And you just told me why. I had no idea why people were messaging me about that.

The Irishman Al Pacino Robert DeNiro and Ray Romano standing on the roof, looking in the same direct

From Spidey to Scorsese

Norton of course has gone on to do so much more in the wake of his Spider-Man appearance. A longtime staple of the legendary Opie and Anthony Show, Norton continued his run on SiriusXM by teaming with co-host Sam Roberts for Jim and Sam. He stayed active on television and movies by appearing in such credits as Louis CK’s Louie, Chris Rock’s Top Five, and Kevin Smith’s films Cop Out and Zack And Miri Make a Porno.     

Some might argue that Norton hit the apex of his film career, though, when he portrayed iconic comedian Don Rickles in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, a part he was offered after working with Robert De Niro on the 2016 film The Comedian. Norton says that Scorsese also watched a few of his stand-up specials, which helped convince the director that he could step into Rickles’ enormous shoes. What Scorsese didn’t know is that Norton was going through his own issues off screen at the time. The comic, who has become notorious for seeking photographs with noted celebrities, told us:

I was very depressed when that happened. It was the end of 2017, and I was so manically depressed that I wasn't nervous when I went in for my meeting. Which actually helped me. Because as much as I knew, ‘Hey, this is Scorsese.’ Like I didn't ask for a picture. I didn't do any of that shit. I just went in and had a real conversation, because I didn't give a fuck. I was so depressed that the weight of what I was doing didn't matter. That was a bad time.

Have no fear, though. Norton eventually kept his eye on the prize. As he continued to explain:

And then, of course, after I shot the scene on the way out, I got a picture with him. But I walked in. It's the hardest I've ever had to fight the urge to take a photo. I walked in for the rehearsal on the day of shooting, which was at Gotham Comedy. They made it look like the old Copa. And I walk in and it's just Scorsese and he's standing there talking to De Niro and Pesci, They're wearing like these wide-brimmed gangster hats. And I'm like, ‘This is Raging Bull.’ I wanted a photo so (bad). I didn't do it. Thank God I had some sense. But if it was after the shoot? I would've fucking nailed them for a picture. Just those three in the same… I mean, they were in the scene, so I got to interact with them. But yeah, that's really one of the better days of my life.

Norton’s days now are filled with his SiriusXM show, and the channel he’s launching with new wife Nikki Norton. He’s also hitting the road for the rest of the year, with tour stops for his stand-up routine scheduled for Boise, Portland, Tempe, Las Vegas, Tampa, and more. Visit Norton’s official site for details.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.