As the tag line from Norm Macdonald's new revenge-themed movie Dirty Work puts it: "Who do you turn to when you're too weak to fight back?" Answer: Someone higher on the network food chain.

Last week NBC West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer seemed to be getting the best of the former Saturday Night Live Weekend Updater in their ongoing feud, banning MGM from advertising Dirty Work on the network. ("He's about a thousand times more powerful than I am," Macdonald griped to the New York Daily News.)

But Monday, network president Robert Wright--Ohlmeyer's boss--overturned the decision. Sure, Wright remained supportive of Ohlmeyer's ban of Macdonald commercials during SNL air time (the meatiest slot to plug a vehicle for a former show star), but an ad for the flick will still run during Wednesday's NBA Finals telecast.

NBC flacks called the reversal a "non-issue" and "much ado about nothing." Of course, in this nasty ego battle, that's not true at all.

Macdonald--who just got out of his SNL contract--all but declared war on Ohlmeyer back in January during interviews with David Letterman and Howard Stern. The wry comedian described how Ohlmeyer fired him from SNL's coveted "Weekend Update" anchor gig and told him he wasn't funny.

And Macdonald has kept firing shots ever since. Last week, the comedian told E! Online that he doesn't dislike the network honcho, it's Ohlmeyer who hates him. (Was it all the jokes about Ohlmeyer's good buddy O.J. Simpson? Nobody really knows.)

Throughout their battle, regardless of his David-up-against-Goliath posturing, the comedian has been supported by a pair of Industry powers who seem to dislike Ohlmeyer plenty, too--Letterman (who urged him during said interview to come to CBS) and Stern (who wants to put him on his new CBS show, airing opposite SNL).

As for Ohlmeyer, he claims he wouldn't have minded so much if Macdonald had limited his shots to just him--he says the comedian went too far in attacking the network and SNL, too. (A charge Macdonald denies.) In making his decision last week, Ohlmeyer said it wouldn't be right to "take a check for a movie that's promoting somebody who had bad-mouthed NBC and SNL."

Asked on CNN Monday if, like the character in his new movie, he wants revenge for the way Ohlmeyer treated him, Macdonald turned his fight into a plug: "It would be good revenge if everybody went and saw this movie if they want to get revenge against Don Ohlmeyer for trying to ban my ads."

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.