Norm Macdonald, 'Saturday Night Live' legend, dies at 61
One of the most influential members of Saturday Night Live, Norm Macdonald, took his last breath yesterday, after losing a nine-year-long battle to cancer, as was confirmed by Brillstein Entertainment, his management firm. He was 61. His death has left a pall of gloom, with many of his friends and colleagues sharing clips of his iconic comedy stints online. Rest in peace, sir!
Lori Jo Hoekstra, Macdonald's friend, told media how the comedy legend kept his health struggles to himself and didn't let his friends, fans, or even family have an iota of knowledge of it. "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."
James Corden, on The Late Late Show, paid tribute to "an absolute comedy legend," and said, "Norm Macdonald passed away today, far too soon, far too young." "I felt privileged anytime I got to be in his orbit. He leaves us as one of the all-time greatest comics, perhaps the single greatest guest in the history of late night television," he added.
Born in Quebec City, Macdonald started out in clubs in Canada, before joining Roseanne, a sitcom that started airing in the late 1980s. He was part of the writer's team for a year, before leaving it and working for the popular sketch series. Macdonald was known for his impressions of known faces like Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, David Letterman, Larry King, and Quentin Tarantino.
Macdonald was attached to Saturday Night Live for five years, but his exit wasn't without controversy. He apparently had a feud with Don Ohlmeyer, president, NBC's West Coast division, for calling the latter's dear friend OJ Simpson a murderer in a series of jokes. Right after leaving the show, Macdonald did Dirty Work, a comedy film that was a critical and financial disappointment.
The Norm Show, his own sitcom, was his next. We also saw him in Norm Macdonald Live and Norm Macdonald Has a Show (a Netflix project). Further, he was supposed to appear at New York Comedy Festival, but guess that slot will go empty now.