If you have been on social media, you have more than likely seen his face. If you have picked up a past issue of HashtagWV, you have read his column, “How to be Happy when Everything is Horrible.” Rodney Norman is a TikTok superstar and his videos have garnered millions of views worldwide and his style (or lack thereof) is catching on with more people every day. He is a comedian, philosopher, joy sparker, and friend to many. His rambling style is honest and unassuming and his humor will catch you off guard and have you laughing for days. Rodney will tell you that he is more than an entertainer. He is an “experience.”
His rambling style is honest and unassuming and his humor will catch you off guard and have you laughing for days.
“Rodney Norman always gives the best advice!” – Trisha J.
He won the Rhode Island Comedy Festival in 2008, a semi-annual stand-up comedy festival that brings the best local and nationally known comedians to Newport, Rhode Island and he has been featured in the Boston Comedy Festival. He is currently planning to headline a comedy show in Las Vegas and we hope visits West Virginia again in the future! Btw, Rodney loves West Virginia. He says the folks (for the most part) are some of the nicest and most interesting he has ever met.
Rodney has always been a fan of comedic legend, Foster Brooks.
Rodney has always been a fan of comedic legend, Foster Brooks. Brooks often performed a “comic drunk act” that made him famous in Las Vegas showrooms and on television. (see Foster Brooks as the airline pilot with Dean Martin here: youtube.com/watch?v=8XC3Hc-rAkk). If you have seen Rodney’s videos, he’s usually Leonard McCrunstky, a character he has worked on since 2003 in comedy clubs. He tells us Leonard is “the super ultimate master motivator” and that this persona was ultimately inspired by Brooks but more so by his drunken grandfather who often gave life lessons when he was “two-sheets to the wind.”
“I truly wish that there were more people in the world like [Rodney] He is a wonderful inspiration and even better person” – tiktoker
Rodney tells us that most of his grandfather’s topics were incoherent but there were also some “gems.” He says, “I’ve always wanted to do something with this type of character and the epiphany hit me in the spring of 2018. I incorporated motivational speeches into a slightly drunken character. When I hit this stride, I took it to the stage and online” and the world’s worst motivational speaker was born. The videos quickly garnered millions of views and Rodney has acquired hundreds of thousands of loyal followers on facebook, instagram, youtube, and tiktok. His optimism mixed with a little bit of incoherence and comedy became captivating.
Rodney tells us to “be yourself and don’t go chasing trends. Be the trend.”
Rodney describes his online presence as “everywhere and nowhere.” His goal is to have fun and he is committed to making people laugh both virtually and in person. While he tells us that he has “no idea where any of this is going,” for the long run (because, really… who knows?!) he says he benefits in sharing happiness with people all over the world. In regard to his social media success, he tells us to “be yourself and don’t go chasing trends. Be the trend.”
To give you a backstory on Rodney, he began his career when he was 4 years old with a love for acting. When he was a young man, he did carpentry work and then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps working as a Field Radio Operator. He then received a B.S. in Philosophy from Utah Valley University and for the last 22 years, Rodney has worked full-time making people laugh and feel good about their lives. In 2010, Rodney did a commercial promoting environmental awareness in Salt Lake City called “We All Live Downstream” It’s a 30 second PSA produced by the Salt Lake County Storm Water Coalition. In the commercial, Rodney is washing his car beside a storm drain and trash goes in it. A creepy voice that sounds like Pennywise (from the film, It) is heard from the drain. Rodney looks into the drain confused. He is then sucked down and ends up in a lake. See it at youtube.com/watch?v=HrcWf4SVMWc&t=6s
Learn more about the world’s worst motivational speaker at rodneynorman.com. You can view his upcoming shows, check out his “fan art” contributions, and/or book him for a show. You can also shop his collection of merchandise which includes “emotional support human” t-shirts, “have a super awesome day” car decals, and more. In conclusion, “life is pretty simple. Stop complicating it and just enjoy it for all its glorious misery and failure.” – Rodney Norman.
– HashtagWV #139. February 2022.
HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks. tiktok.com/@hashtagwv