Very sad news has just come in as legendary comedian Norm MacDonald has passed away. Macdonald, who once served as one of the most memorable Saturday Night Live stars with his unique brand of deadpan humor, reportedly died on Tuesday, Sept. 14 after a nine-year private battle with cancer. He was 61 years old.
Macdonald’s death was confirmed by his management firm Brillstein Entertainment. His longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with the comedian at the time of his passing this morning, revealed that Macdonald has secretly been battling cancer for almost a decade. He had chosen to keep his health struggles private from not only his fans, but away from family and friend as well.
“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra told Deadline. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly.”
Norman Gene Macdonald was born on Oct. 17, 1959, in Quebec City, Quebec. After dinding success in the 1980s and early 1990s as a stand-up comic, including a stint on Star Search, Macdonald landed a job as a TV writer for Roseanne. He soon after left to join Saturday Night Live in 1993 where he would perform until 1998. Macdonald was best known for anchoring “Weekend Update” and has since been named by some of his successors as an inspiration.
Macdonald would take his talents to the big screen in 1998 by starring in the cult classic comedy Dirty Work. Directed by Bob Saget, Dirty Work starred Macdonald and Artie Lange as two lifelong friends who start a revenge-for-hire business. Saget and Macdonald had teased the possibility of a sequel in recent years, showing the optimism Macdonald apparently continued to have about his ongoing cancer battle.
In subsequent years, Macdonald would voice Lucky the Dog in Dr. Dolittle and its many sequels. He has also memorably appeared in movies like Billy Madison, The People vs. Larry Flynt, The Animal, the Deuce Bigalow movies, Grown Ups, and The Ridiculous Six. His final movie credit was as the voice of Mogens in the 2019 holiday movie Klaus.
From 1999-2001, Macdonald also starred in his own comedy series Norm. He also appeared in other TV shows like The Larry Sanders Show, NewsRadio, My Name Is Earl, The Middle, and Girlboss. He also voiced Pigeon in Mike Tyson Mysteries and Yaphit in The Orville. Macdonald also provided a very memorable set on The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget by using jokes from an outdated joke book against the other comedians on the show.
Many in Hollywood are mourning the passing of the comedy legend. One post from Seth Rogen reads, “Oh f**k. I was a huge fan of Norm Macdonald and I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting. I would stay up specifically to watch him on talk shows. He was the funniest guest of all time. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the the all time greats. RIP.”
We’ve truly lost one of the greatest comedians of all time with the passing of Norm Macdonald. There will never be another one like him and it’s certain that he will never be forgotten. May he rst in peace. This news comes to us from Deadline.