Chuck Norris drops lawsuit, pens own “Chuck Norris facts” book

movieguide awards 120209
You’ve probably heard at least one Chuck Norris joke. “There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live”; or “Every piece of furniture in Chuck Norris’s house is a Total Gym”; or “Chuck Norris once visited The Virgin Islands. Afterward, they were renamed The Islands.” There are thousands of them on the internet. But jokes like that last one, and others that are “racist, lewd or portray Mr. Norris as engaged in illegal activities,” are the reason that he filed a lawsuit against the author of The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World’s Greatest Human a year and a half ago. The book was written after the author’s Chuck Norris fansite became popular and Chuck Norris jokes became part of the vernacular.

Now, at the urging of the Christian publishing company that published his previous book, Chuck has dropped the lawsuit and will be writing a similar book with an autobiographical approach. Each joke will be followed by a 250-word story about why the joke has special meaning for him. The only known requirement about dropping the lawsuit is that during book signings, Norris will not sign the first book of Chuck Norris “facts.”

News of the book, which Mr. Farrar predicts will sell 100,000 copies in its first year, comes more than a year after Mr. Norris dropped an infringement lawsuit against the Gotham Books imprint of Penguin, which published a collection of spoofy factoids about “the world’s greatest human” based on a popular Internet meme started by then-undergraduate Ian Spector.

That book, which spent four weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, contained 400 so-called facts, all of them along the lines of “Chuck Norris can divide by zero” and “Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open.”

In December 2007 Mr. Norris filed a suit against Gotham, alleging that “some of the ‘facts’ in the book are racist, lewd or portray Mr. Norris as engaged in illegal activities.”

Gotham Books publisher Bill Shinker welcomed the suit at the time, arguing that the book was a plainly marked parody protected by the First Amendment. The lawsuit, Mr. Shinker said, would only help sell more copies of it.

Mr. Farrar said the idea for Mr. Norris to put out his own authorized take on the meme came from Tyndale. A six-figure deal, worth a sum somewhere in between $100,000 and $250,000, was struck this past May.

The book will be funny, according to Mr. Farrar, but it will also be more.

“The facts themselves will be humorous, but he will have basically a 250-word commentary on each fact,” said Mr. Farrar. “He talks about his movie career and different things that have happened to him in his life. He’ll take the humor as a jumping-off point.”

As for the lawsuit against Gotham, Mr. Farrar said we’d have to talk to Mr. Norris’s lawyer.

“I know there was a lawsuit at some point but I don’t know much about that,” Mr. Farrar said. “They have said that when they do signings in October that they won’t sign the other one.”

[from The New York Observer]

This is one of those sticky situations where first amendment rights get tangled up in the simple question of who gets the check. Yes, Ian Spector and many other Chuck Norris fans actually penned the jokes, but they are based on the name and persona of a character created by Chuck Norris himself. My first instinct is that it’s not about being “lewd” or “racist,” but about money. But considering that Chuck is an active member in many conservative groups (which has not made him friends in the gay community), highly religious, and promotes living a moral life, I wouldn’t be surprised if the insulting “facts” really were a deciding factor in the lawsuit – he wants to keep his image in his control. Dropping the lawsuit and then taking advantage of the Chuck Norris joke “genre” is probably the best thing for Chuck to do, and by far the most fair to all parties.

Chuck Norris and his wife, Gena, are shown on 2/11/09. Credit: WENN.com

movieguide awards 120209

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

17 Responses to “Chuck Norris drops lawsuit, pens own “Chuck Norris facts” book”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. marok says:

    is that really Chuck Norris? looks more like his grandma!

  2. Roma says:

    Chuck Norris CAN judge a book by its cover.

    Fiting, non?

  3. not even says:

    WTF happened to his face?!

    I guess he and kenny rogers have the same plastic surgeon…

  4. El Predicto says:

    Nice Toupe

  5. mp says:

    Yeah, he’s so religious he dumped his first wife (and mother of his two sons) for a younger model. That’s true religion, all right.

  6. Lem says:

    So now it’s Chuck Norris Approved

  7. Greg says:

    Chuck Norris is the man. And he will roundhouse kick your ass if you say otherwise.

  8. greeneyedhuzzy says:

    I know that he was a champion martial artist a couple decades ago but come on! He is far too old to try and intimidate people. He and Clint Eastwood need to get together, drink their tea while talking about the good old days. Hopefully they will quit squinting at people.

  9. HUH? says:

    he may have roundhouse kicked someone’s ass a long time ago, but now he’s just “the man” with bad facial plastic surgery, bad veneers, and a bad toupee.

    oh, and an ugly trophy wife.

  10. Get Real says:

    Ah yes, the future President of Texas. Chuck Norris is an idiot. By the time he runs for President of Texas, it’s population will be 99% Mexican and hopefully they will string him up by his neck.

  11. Persistent Cat says:

    Wow, his face…..

    I don’t think someone can be bad ass if they’ve had a facelift.

  12. RaraAvis says:

    Chuck Norris is a rich, conservative white christian man. Fear Chuck Norris.

  13. lj says:

    he’s going to be mighty disappointed when no one buys his book. maybe i’m wrong, but i don’t think most people really give a crap about the real chuck norris — they just like the kung fu character and the stupid (hilarious) jokes. this all may be a sweeping generalization, but i’m going to go out on a limb and say he couldn’t get a dime from those book guys and this was the next best thing. he needs to give back that rug and those chompers back to whatever broke-down horse he got them from.

  14. cari says:

    I say dump the Chuck Norris Book idea…it’s outdated.

    The new go to guy is Christian Bale. Start roundhousing jokes about him, much more effective.

    I’ll start..when Christian Bale looks in the mirror he sees nothing….there can never be another Christian Bale!
    If you google Christian Bale, you won’t find him.
    Christian Bale finds YOU!
    Christian Bale does not follow fashion trends. They follow him, until he swiftly turns around and kicks their asses. NOBODY follows Christian Bale, NOBODY!
    If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear it?
    Yes, Christian Bale hears it, Christian Bale hears EVERYTHING!
    While filming the Dark Knight in Hong Kong, the Chinese surrendered to Christian Bale, just to be on the safe side.

  15. Magsy says:

    Poor Chuck, his hair is worse than Elton John’s. Teeth too fake and white and he’s had so much surgery his eyes are squinty. No way resembles old Chick Norris. Then again he’s probably pushing 80.

  16. Mal bicho says:

    Chuck Norris = God

  17. bat says:

    chuck killed all the users that posted bad things about him with a wink ;)