Comedian Norm MacDonald passed away at the age of 61, nine years after being diagnosed with cancer, according to his family and representatives. MacDonald worked for the Roseanne programme before joining ‘Saturday Night Live’ to host news parody skit Weekend Update.
The Canadian comic was born in Quebec City in 1959 and got his start in Canadian clubs before moving to the US to pursue TV comedy writing, reports bbc.com. Known for his dry delivery, MacDonald had fans in the US and worldwide.
“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,” Lori Jo Hoekstra, MacDonald’s long-time producing partner, said in a statement.
“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 was also popular for his work in comedy films such as ‘Dirty Work’, ‘Billy Madison’ and ‘Dr Doolittle’. According to Deadline, he was slated to appear in the New York Comedy Festival in November.
MacDonald was known for his deadpan delivery style, and his impressions of Hollywood stars such as Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino. After leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’, he starred in his own comedy series, ‘Norm’, from 1999-2001. In 2018, he hosted a Netflix programme called ‘Norm Macdonald Has A Show’.
Comedian and actor Jim Carrey called MacDonald a “precious gem”. The actor wrote, “He was one of our most precious gems. An honest and courageous comedy genius.” “I am absolutely devastated about Norm MacDonald. I will never laugh that hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today,” wrote late-night host Conan O’Brien.
Former ‘Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart wrote online, “No one could make you break like Norm MacDonald. Hilarious and unique.” Actor Seth Rogan recalled, “I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the all-time greats.”
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