The world is less funny today, and it’s due to the tragic passing of Norm MacDonald.
The stand-up comedian and actor who made a name for himself as a Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live passed away today at the age of 61, following a nine-year battle with cancer.
Longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra explained that the battle with cancer was one that MacDonald kept private, in the hopes of keeping family and friends in good spirits. In fact, MacDonald was even slated to appear in a comedy festival in November.
“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra said, speaking to 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.”
MacDonald ran house on Saturday Night Live throughout his stay in 1998, when he was infamously fired from the show over potential O.J. Simpson jokes. However, he was able to return for reunion shows, and has since gone on to appear in a number of films and television shows, including Dirty Work and The People vs. Larry Flynt. He also made regular TV appearances, including shows like The Middle and Girl Boss on Netflix.
But he thrived most on SNL, starring in a number of memorable sketches, including ones where he infamously played Burt Reynolds on Celebrity Jeopardy! We included a clip below, where MacDonald hams it up like a boss, even in a large cowboy hat.
Our thoughts are with MacDonald’s friends and family at this time. This one hurts, gang. We’ll miss you, Norm.