Norm Macdonald, the comedian and former cast member of Saturday Night Live, has died aged 61, Deadline and Variety report. According to Deadline, Macdonald lived with cancer privately for nine years before dying this morning. Macdonald’s producer Lori Jo Hoekstra told Deadline, “He was most proud of his comedy. He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comedian. He once wrote: “A joke should surprise someone, it should never be flattering.” He’s certainly never flattered. Norm is terribly missed. “
Norm Macdonald was born and raised in Quebec City, Quebec. In his early twenties he lived in Ottawa, Ontario, where he often performed stand-up comedy. He began writing for ABC’s Roseanne in 1992, but left in 1993 to star on Saturday Night Live. One of Macdonald’s most famous recurring sketches on SNL was “Celebrity Jeopardy!” Where he portrayed Burt Reynolds. While at SNL, Macdonald also anchored the Weekend Update segment, and current Weekend Update presenter Colin Jost has cited Macdonald as an influence.
After Saturday Night Live, Macdonald co-designed and starred the ABC sitcom The Norm Show, which aired for three seasons. Throughout his career, Macdonald starred in Billy Madison, Deuce Bigalow, The Drew Carey Show, Family Guy, The Fairly OddParents, and more. He also hosted the Norm Macdonald Live podcast and published the book Based on a True Story: Not a Memoir in 2016. Macdonald’s latest stand-up special, Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery, premiered on Netflix in 2017.
In 2018, Macdonald made controversial comments to The Hollywood Reporter about the #MeToo movement. He had canceled an appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon due to his comments, and he later tweeted an apology.
Norm Macdonald was known for his dry sense of humor and lengthy jokes. Especially later in his career, Macdonald’s jokes resembled stories with strange or disjointed punchlines. “I’ve always told everyone that the perfect joke would be if setup and punch line were the same,” he told the New York Times in 2011.
“I was a huge Norm Macdonald fan and basically got his performance when I first started acting,” tweeted Seth Rogen after learning of Macdonald’s death. “I would stay up specifically to see him on talk shows. He was the funniest guest ever. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the really big ones. “
“Norm was in its own comedy genre,” wrote Sarah Silverman. “Nobody likes him on this planet. Please do yourself a favor and take care of his belongings. It was one of a kind of all time. “