Legendary actor, comedian, and former SNL cast member Norm Macdonald has died at the age of 61 after a long, private battle with cancer.
Legendary actor and comedian Norm Macdonald has died at the age of 61. Born in Quebec City in 1959, Macdonald began his comedy career doing stand-up in Canada before landing a writing gig for the TV show Roseanne. He then landed a job at Saturday Night Live, where he was a cast member from 1993-1998. Macdonald had the coveted role of Weekend Update anchor during his time at SNL, where he displayed his deadpan style of comedy and became a household name.
Macdonald left SNL in 1998 and started his own comedy show, The Norm Show, which ran from 1999-2001. The comedian continued to show up in late-night appearances, as well as lending his voice in a number of animated films and TV series, including The Orville and Klaus. The comedian also had a recurring role in The Middle and will perhaps be best remembered in live-action for his roles in Billy Madison and Dirty Work.
Macdonald had been battling cancer privately for nine years and passed away today at age 61, as reported by Deadline. According to longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, Macdonald wished for his cancer struggle to be kept private from family, friends, and fans. Macdonald didn’t want anyone to see or view him differently after the diagnosis and was most proud of his work as a comedian. Here’s what Hoekstra, who was with Macdonald when he passed, had to say:
“He was most proud of his comedy. 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.”
In addition to his film, TV, and voice work, Macdonald also wrote a memoir in 2016 called “Based on a True Story: A Memoir”. He also started a podcast in 2013, which later transitioned to a short-lived 2018 Netflix series, Norm Macdonald Has A Show. The comedian was a frequent guest on late-night talk shows, including Conan, Late Night with David Letterman, The Drew Carey Show, and The Howard Stern Show. He also appeared in an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld.
Norm Macdonald leaves behind a legacy of distinguished comedy. His droll, deadpan delivery and unique voice have entertained the masses for decades, be it in stand-up comedy, SNL weekend updates, film roles, podcasts, books and more. His voice work spans all manner of productions, from children’s shows like Skylanders Academy to adult animation like Mike Tyson Mysteries. Every generation will recognize his signature comedic style, be it in physical performance or voice work, as Macdonald has left behind decades of laughter for fans new and old.
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