Norman MacLean is a living legend – of that fact there is no doubt. A man whose talent and ability far traverse the boundaries of any normal human being, Norman’s career has been hugely varied in both its content and its highs and lows. As a singer, musician, composer, bard, linguist, actor and author, Norman is well-recognised and clearly excels. However, it is with comedy that the legend of Norman MacLean is most widely associated. And this is no accident. His gift to make people laugh is immense. Having performed throughout most of the English-speaking world, Norman has continually displayed that when he is on stage, his audience is captivated and usually in pain with laughter.
In the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Norman MacLean is a household name. To the question, “Why is an entertainer with such extraordinary talent and charisma not a household name throughout the wider world of entertainment?” there is but one answer – drink. The progression of Norman’s career has been continually blighted by his addiction to alcohol. No less than Billy Connelly once said to Norman after hearing him perform at Aviemore in 1981, “Nice things are going to happen to you, Norman, but you’ll need to cut down on the bevy”. This was not to be, and Norman’s career potential was never realized.
This does not detract in any way from the fact that his performances past and present are truly hilarious. It just means that a few less million people have had the pleasure of hearing one of the best comedians of our time, and that the comedian in question has a few less million pounds in his bank account.
Of limited availability, his recorded comic performances are so hard come by that even the then Sean Connery in 1991 went to a great deal of trouble to source Norman’s contact numbers in quest of his material. Sir Sean was impressed.
If you’d like to hear his stand-up then go purchase “Fully Wrapped and Standing” which was recorded live in The Royal Hotel, Oban on the 2nd of January, 1987 and is probably Norman’s best-ever recorded performance of comedy. This recording will demonstrate clearly to anybody who is new to Norman MacLean the reason for his heroic status in the North of Scotland, and why he has impressed stars like Billy Connelly and Sir Sean Connery. To existing fans it is simply a “must have”.
Norman MacLean live in Stornoway Pt 1
Norman MacLean live in Stornoway Pt 2