Has MTV Newsman John Norris Been Axed?

The Global Financial Hobo Apocalypse knocked on the door of Viacom today as the media giant laid-off 850 employees, which includes, according to an unconfirmed anonymous rumor made to Gawker, perpetually angry-face MTV correspondent John Norris.

Norris has been with MTV for 15 years (making him the MTV equivalent of Tom Brokaw) and he’s hosted everything from a program on the death of gay student Matthew Shepard to interviews with former Secretary General Kofi-Anan and Mariah Carey.

Like many of you, we know Norris as that guy who tried to take us home from the Limelight when we were nineteen. We still remember sitting at the banquette, phalanxed on both sides by MTV interns and being told by Norris “You know who I am” before watching him pass out on the table.

One of the interns turned to us and intoned seriously, “You know not to tell anyone about this”, to which our younger, twinkier self replied “Who would we tell?” totally unawares that one-day we would wind up the Internet’s go-to gay.

While our heart goes out to the Viacom folks let off today, we can all take small consolation in a silver lining: There’s at least one MTV intern today who’s delirious that his weekend plans have suddenly opened up.

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  • EdWoody

    I saw him in one of Nardicio’s backrooms.

  • Joe Moag

    Japhy: You really were naive, buddy. You should have gone home with him. You could have dined out on that dirt for years back then.

  • burton21

    Ha! I knew it.

  • Darth Paul

    15yrs? No way! It seems like he’s been there longer…

  • Joe Moag

    @Darth Paul: I remember him being there in the late ’80s, I think.

  • kevin

    Hey Japhy – i wonder if John Norris remembers you too?! No, prob not.

  • Cam

    He was balding back when he joined MTV, and over the years his hair kept getting thicker and thicker and thicker.

  • Joe Moag

    @Cam: That’s the result of clean living.

  • david

    holy sh*t – that exact same story happened to me. limelight, banquette, norris. except i was 18 and not his interns – his boyfriend!

  • Joe Moag

    After listening to both Japhy’s and David recounts of their experiences with Norris at the Limelight, it sounds like he may be personally responsible for giving the nightclub it’s oh-so-appropriate nickname back in the day, the Slimelight.

  • Tim

    Ummm…. Crap… and I thought I was special… Wait, if it was at the Palladium does that make it special?

  • Tim

    Now wait a minute, he did it to me at The Lure!

  • Cam

    Hmm, Norris can only blame having Michael Alig slip something in his drink once or twice for douchy behavior at Limelight. Sounds like he passed that number.

  • Joe Moag

    You guys are all special! And I am sure that those were some very special moments, with what sounds like a really special John Norris!

  • Jack E. Jett

    Yeah, I remember the same thing going down with me. I was at the Limelight and he kept coming on to me. I kept saying no, he had a fresh bottle of poppers, and he kept kept getting me high….in fact he got me rocky mountain high…
    oh that’s right, it wasn’t john norris, it was
    john denver.

    i always get them confused.

  • The Gay Numbers

    What’s so special about what he did compared to every other guy (straight or gay) searching for ass at a club? Am I missing something?

  • hardmannyc

    MTV’s still on? People still watch it? It still has VJs?? That said, I’d do him.

  • Carl

    saw him do all of that here in philly on thanksgiving night!!!

  • BB

    I’m laughing at reading all this… mainly because I met him at Limelight back in MY twink days. He was blitzed out of his mind and kept asking ME in a slurred voice “Do you know who I am?” The music was loud; I couldn’t make out half the things he was shouting in my poor ear. I went off to get a drink. I returned just in time to see John being carted away by another twink.

    Oh well…

  • Stephen

    The headline is off — he’s not an MTV VJ.

  • Scrufff

    Me too – only it was in the early 90’s at an underground club in Hollywood. Also no intern, rather his boyfriend. And i thought i was special ;-)

  • Giovanni

    Early 90’s – House of Beaut(AY) – no banquette however. Homie gets around!

  • Dan

    That’s not correct. I was 20, and he asked “You want some blow?”

    And we weren’t sitting, we were standing in the ’80’s room.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    Ben Stiller has never looked worse….botched plastic surgery?

  • Jesus Mary

    Oh, bitter bitter people… are we all claiming here that our own behavior in the dark of the NYC night has been stellar, exemplar and above par? Me thinks not. Pot. Kettle.

  • Sarah R.

    Yeah, he’s been around longer than 15 years.

  • Cam

    Did he steal Alan Hunters hair?

  • Ray

    He hit on me at Spa in 2000. I was drunk and wearing sunglasses and I asked him if I could use his t-shirt to clean them. He asked if the guy I was dancing with was my boyfriend and I said, “no, he’s just my 2 o’clock.”

  • scott

    forget John Norris, I want AJ HAMMER!!!

  • samhain

    So let’s see….either you’re all boasting (i.e. same thing you’re accusing him of), or you’re just very publicly insulting some guy for being wasted and hitting on you. Sad and mean.

  • Jere L Griffin Jr

    I was in High school In Orlando Florida And well ya Know a beer is a beer! :)~LOVE JJ

  • jarvisbearcub

    How did John Norris last longer on MTV than Kurt Loder?

    He is a vegan though, so that’s cool.


    And for the record, his most important work by far was his indepth work hitting on.. I mean interviewing NKOTB!!!

  • EdWoody

    @samhain: Not a single one of the posts saying he hit on them has been insulting, just reporting the facts. You’re the one reading negative connotations into that.

    You’re right, everyone does it. The point here is that he’s a (slightly) public figure, which makes it a matter of interest. And what’s the point of being a celebrity if you can’t use it to get ass?

  • Twinki Romano

    I used to work alongside John in a candy factory in the Castro. It was the first job for both of us. We worked on the fudge line, packing product for shipping. No one ever joked about it.

  • JR

    Norris had two stints at MTV. The first was 1986 to 1990. He returned in 1996, but I thought he had already left MTV a couple of years ago.

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