Comedian and ‘Saturday Night Live’ alum Norm McDonald dies at 61

He was 61 years old.

Macdonald had been battling cancer for several years, but he kept his diagnosis private, his friend and producer partner Lori Jo Hoekstra told CNN in a statement.

“He was most proud of his comedy. He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way audiences or loved ones saw him,” Hoekstra said. “Norm was pure humour. He once wrote that ‘A joke should take one by surprise, it should never go astray.’ He certainly never strays. Norm will be greatly missed.”

Born in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, he started out in entertainment as a standup comedian, working the Ottawa club circuit before moving to clubs across Canada.

He quickly became known for his deadpan and sardonic delivery, and in 1987 he was given the opportunity to perform at the “Just for Laughs” comedy festival in Los Angeles.

That first taste of LA made an impression, and Macdonald moved to the city with the intention of entering Hollywood. He got the writing job for the sitcom “Roseanne” in 1992.

he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” The following year, where he became known for his impressions of David Letterman, Larry King, Burt Reynolds, Quentin Tarantino and others.

But it was as the anchor of the news satire segment “Weekend Update” where Macdonald made his strides.

He held this position from 1994 to 1998.

McDonald was abruptly and unintentionally removed from the “Weekend Update,” a decision made by then-NBC West Coast president Don Olmeier. Although it was reported that the executive did not like Macdonald in that role, there were reports that Macdonald joked about OJ Simpson, one of Ohmyer’s longtime friends.

In a 1998 interview on David Letterman’s show, Macdonald said that Olmeier told him, “You’re not funny,” adding, “He also thinks OJ is innocent.” Years later, Macdonald pointed out new York Times He thought that the “experimental” nature of his material, not the Simpson connection, was why Ohmyer scoffed at it.

Macdonald starred in his own comedy series, “The Norm Show”, which ran from 1999–2001.

He also appeared in films such as “The People vs Larry Flynt,” “Dr. Dolittle 2” and “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.”

His stint as host of the 2018 Netflix talk show titled “Norm MacDonald Has a Show” was fueled by comments he made while defending his friends Louis CK and Roseanne Barr, both of whom were embroiled in controversy, During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
McDonald’s later Apologised.

Fellow comedians Jon Stewart, Patton Oswalt, Seth Rogen and others paid tribute to McDonald on Tuesday.

“Oh my god. We lost a legend,” Jim Gaffigan tweeted. “Norm was punishingly fun. A unique special approach and completely organic. RIPNormMacDonald.”
“I’m absolutely devastated about Norm MacDonald,” Conan O’Brien tweeted. “Norm had the most unique comedic voice ever and he was so relentless and irresistibly funny. I’ll never laugh so hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today.”

Senator Bob Dole also paid tribute, tweeting a photo of him and MacDonald in character as Dole.

“Norm @normmacdonald was a great talent, and I loved laughing with him on SNL. *Bob Dole* will miss Norm Macdonald,” Dole tweeted.
“In every important way, in the world of stand-up, Norm was the best. An opinion shared by me and all my teammates. Always something to do, never sure, until his actual delivery flatters you ” David Letterman wrote on Twitter. “I was always pleased with his quirky mind and serious gaze. (I’m trying to avoid using the phrase “the twinkle in his eyes”). He was a lifelong Cy Young winner in comedy. Gone, but impossible to forget “
macdonald It was listed among the comics scheduled for performance during the upcoming New York Comedy Festival in November.

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