Norm Macdonald, whose laconic delivery of sharp and incisive observations made him one of the most influential and beloved cast members of “Saturday Night Live,” died today after a nine-year private battle with cancer. He was 61 years old.
According to Deadline slogan, Macdonald’s death was announced by his management firm Brillstein Entertainment. Lori Jo Hoekstra, a friend and production partner of the comedian, who was with him when he died, said Macdonald had been battling cancer for nearly a decade, but was determined to keep his health problems private, away from family. friends and fans.
“He was very proud of his comedy,” said Hoekstra. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comedian. He once wrote that “a joke should surprise someone, it should never please.” It certainly never pleased. Norm will be sorely missed.
Macdonald had a lineup at the New York Comedy Festival in November.
Norm Macdonald, one of the best of “Saturday Night Live”
Norm Macdonald was a member of the cast of “Saturday Night Live” from 1993 to 1998, and had his greatest impact hosting the “Weekend Update” segments of the show for three seasons. Remembered both for his funny style and for his refusal to go easy on OJ Simpson despite pressure from NBC executives, Macdonald would prove to be one of the most impactful “Update” hosts, stepping away from Chevy Chase’s antics approach and towards the sharper political focus of his successor Colin Quinn.
Born on October 17, 1959 in Quebec City, Norm Macdonald began his career in show business in Canada’s comedy clubs, developing the deadpan style that would become both his trademark and a very touchstone. influential for a generation of comics. A contestant on Star Search in 1990, he landed his first job as a regular television writer on “The Dennis Miller Show,” headlined by the man who hosted “Weekend Update” from 1986 to 1991.
Macdonald was hired to write for Roseanne Barr’s sitcom “Roseanne” for the 1992-93 season before landing the coveted position on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”
Among his most popular SNL parts was a stunning Burt Reynolds print, complete with a charming smile, bowling tie, and attendant demeanor.
Norm Macdonald’s departure from the show was controversial in itself, and he often attributed his firing to his continued lashing out at Simpson as a murderer despite what he said was the chagrin of Don Ohlmeyer, president of the division’s. West Coast NBC, whom Macdonald said was friends with the former soccer great.
His post SNL work
After leaving SNL in 1998, Macdonald starred in his own comedy series, The Norm Show, from 1999 to 2001. He also did a one-season talk show for Netflix, Norm Macdonald Has a Show, in 2018. He also earned a CableACE Award nomination as part of the writing team for the 1992 variety special “Free to Laugh: A Comedy and Music Special for Amnesty International.”
Over the years, he made numerous appearances on various late-night shows, including “Late Night With David Letterman” and “Conan,” and had a recurring role on “The Middle.”
He also released three stand-up comedy albums: Ridiculous (1996), Me Doing Standup (2011) and Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery (2017), the latter taken from a Netflix special.