The shocking death of Norm MacDonald has left many in mourning, and his longtime friend Bob Saget is among those feeling devastated. Professionally, the two had made a movie together in 1998 when Saget directed Macdonald and Artie Lange in the criminally underrated comedy Dirty Work. As close friends in real life, their relationship had dated back many years when Norm was just getting started as a teenage aspiring comedian.
On his YouTube channel, Bob Saget released a video spanning nearly 40 minutes long chronicling the life of Norm Macdonald. The video includes many stories along with personal photos of Macdonald and Saget from happier times. With so many great memories to share of Macdonald, one post on Instagram wasn’t enough for Saget to share everything he really wanted to say about his late friend, resulting in the video. You can check it out below.
In the video, Saget touches on the final conversation he ever had with Macdonald. Because the exchange happened about a week ago, it’s likely that Macdonald knew things weren’t looking good. The comedian apparently sent Saget a short but sweet message telling him he loved him, a feeling Saget reciprocated and said as much with a message back. As Saget tells it:
“Last week, I got a text and it just said ‘I love you.’ And I didn’t say much back. I just said, ‘I love you Norm.’ And that was my [final] communication with him. … One of the gifts of my life is that he loved me, and that I loved him. I loved him, and I love him. What do we do with that when we lose someone?”
One of the highlights of Macdonald’s comedy career came at The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget in 2008. Norm’s set stood out in that he avoided using the harsh and vulgar barbs that the other comics were, instead reading intentionally cheesy jokes from an outdated joke book. Saget’s new video reveals the explanation behind this peculiar set, which comes in part from Macdonald refusing to be cruel to his longtime friend.
“I talked to him a week before the roast and, and he said, ‘I can’t say mean things about you because you’re my friend’ … He called me a week out and said, ‘I’m just gonna read jokes from a ’40s joke book.’ I said, ‘Norm, that’s fine, you know what you’re doing, but you’ve got to curse… just throw in an arbitrary f**k.’ ‘Eh, I’m not gonna do that.’ … Norm, of course, chose the path of dignity.”
In the video, Saget also notes how Macdonald kept his illness very private, hiding it from even his closest friends. Even so, Saget realized that something was wrong over the past month, suspecting that it might have been cancer. He didn’t ask Norm about it, nor did the late comedian bring it up. For his part, Saget chose to respect Macdonald’s privacy and remained optimistic, explaining that they were even working on a new project together.
Saget doesn’t name this project that the two were collaborating on, but it could have been their planned sequel to Dirty Work. Just months ago, Saget teased that Dirty Work 2 was finally going to happen, suggesting that Macdonald and Artie Lange were both interested and on board. Saget added that the sequel would be “a pretty cool thing if it goes,” though now fans will sadly be left to wonder what could have been.
After Macdonald’s death, Saget also posted a heartfelt message to Instagram. Along with including an image of himself with Norm, Saget joined the Dirty Work team in paying tribute by writing, “Devastated. Met Norm in Ottawa when he was in my audience at 17 years old. Been close for decades. We have lost a comedic genius. No other voice in comedy has been as uniquely prolific, brazen, dark, hilarious, and heartfelt. Love you forever, Norm.”
As such a hilarious, beloved, and inspirational comedian, there are many other celebrities paying tribute as well. There will definitely never be another one quite like him, that’s for sure. Rest in peace, Norm Macdonald.