Comedians frequently take shots at taboo targets, but that wasn’t what Norm Macdonald was doing when he addressed Down syndrome while recording what became the new “Nothing Special” stand-up special on Netflix.

“I love people with Down syndrome,” said Macdonald, in a no-audience performance packed with his familiar pauses and bemused expressions. “I wish I had Down syndrome, and I’ll tell you why. They’re happy. You know what I mean? ...

Terry Mattingly leads GetReligion.org and lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is a senior fellow at the Overby Center at the University of Mississippi.