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Talking Tech (and dating) with comedian Norm MacDonald

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HOLLYWOOD — Comedian Norm MacDonald just co-created a new video dating app, LOKO, but he’s not ready to put himself out there on it. 

“I am not using it,” he told USA TODAY this week. “We can’t go on it.”

MacDonald, best known for his years on Saturday Night Live and sitcoms like The Norm Show. He’s got a new gig for Netflix, a talk show called Norm MacDonald Has a Show, debuting on Sept. 14th. 

 

The LOKO app came out of a corporate gig, where he met Canadian entrepreneur Vivek Jain, who complained about his lack of success finding dates. The two decided to combine forces and come up with an app that would eliminate the awkwardness of a first date. 

It’s the first video-only app, in that the only way to communicate with people is with video. After downloading the app from the Apple and Google Play stores, you register and record an 8-second video intro about yourself on the smartphone camera. Once approved (“Keep it clean…we do not tolerate any nudity or obscenity”) your video joins the system, where a potential date could see you and respond.

Once connected, that’s when you have your first date, via video, on the app.

“We eliminate the first date,” says MacDonald. “So you don’t have to go two to three hours into something when you know within minutes if the date is bad. We do it on video and get it out of the way.”

If you click, you select a time to meet, within 24 hours.

“The first date is actually the second date,” the comedian says.

The app download is free, but to connect and set the date requires a weekly subscription of $1.49 or $3.49 monthly. 

Jain says the beauty of video is that a “static picture doesn’t portray the real person at this point in time. This is real people making real connections.”

Adds MacDonald: “You can’t pretend to be someone else.” With video, “you already have a good idea of what you’re in for.”

As for himself, MacDonald says online dating apps “aren’t for me. I always thought they were a little sleazy.”

We asked MacDonald about other tech topics, but he claims to be mostly tech illiterate. 

“I don’t know anything about tech,” he says. 

 That said, he did boast that “Nobody can beat me at Fortnite, and I know how to text.”

MacDonald doesn’t drive and relies on Uber, accessible via a smartphone app, to drive him around. He says he prefers Uber over Lyft, “Because I don’t want to drive around in a clown car with a handlebar mustache on it.”

(The comedian laughs upon hearing that Lyft has updated its logo.)

He spends “hours” watching old videos on YouTube. Lately, it’s clips featuring the late actor/writer/director Orson Welles.

So maybe he’s not really so tech illiterate after all.

Click the link above to listen to our Talking Tech interview with MacDonald and Jain. 

Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. 

 

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