Jim Norton on HBO: “Monster Rain”

Toward the end of Jim Norton’s new hour-long HBO special "Monster Rain" (debuts tonight at 10, available on DVD Tuesday), the 39-year-old comedian takes a moment to recognize and thank Opie and Anthony in the audience. Norton certainly has seen his fan base grow since joining the morning radio duo on WXRK (92.3 FM) and XM satellite radio. He’s also working hard to reach new fans. Since taping the special at the beginning of the summer in Washington, D.C., Norton has published a best-selling book of essays, "Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch," launched an online series on SuperDeluxe.com and made the late-night TV rounds. Most nights, he’s working out new material at the Comedy Cellar or performing on the road. "The more big things you can do to put yourself in the public eye, the better," Norton tells the Daily News. "I’ve tried to keep very busy. If you’re not always busy, you’re going to sink like a big dumb rock. Now I don’t have to face the terrifying implication that if this special bombs, I have nowhere else to go." Even if he did, he could always rebound like Don Imus, whom Norton references in his special. "I figured he’d be back sooner or later," Norton says. "But now with the special coming out, it’s perfect timing." He called Imus’ firing by CBS Radio a...

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