Influential comedian and former ‘SNL’ weekend update host was 61 – .

Influential comedian and former ‘SNL’ weekend update host was 61 – .

Norm Macdonald, whose terse delivery of sharp and incisive observations made him one of the Saturday Night LiveThe most influential and beloved cast members of, have passed away today after a private nine-year battle with cancer. He was 61 years old.

Macdonald’s death was announced to Deadline by his management company Brillstein Entertainment. The comedian’s longtime production partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with him when he died, said Macdonald had been battling cancer for nearly a decade, but was determined to keep his problems with cancer. private health, away from family, friends and fans.

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“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra said. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect how the public or anyone close to him saw him. Norm was pure comic. He once wrote that “a joke should surprise someone, it should never flatter”. He certainly never flattered. Norm will be sadly missed.

Macdonald was slated to be on the New York Comedy Festival lineup in November.

Macdonald was a SNL cast member from 1993 to 1998, making his greatest impact as a host of the show’s “Weekend Update” segments for three seasons. Recalled both for his funny style – and for his refusal to go slow with OJ Simpson despite reported pressure from NBC executives – Macdonald would prove to be one of the more impactful “Update” anchors, moving away from the burlesque approach of Chevy Chase and towards the more barbed political approach of his successor Colin Quinn.

Born October 17, 1959 in Quebec City, Macdonald began his show business career in comedy clubs across Canada, developing the tongue-in-cheek style that would become both his trademark and a touchstone. very influential for a generation of comics. A competitor on Star search in 1990 he was hired to write for Roseanne Barr’s sitcom Roseanne for the 1992-93 season before landing the coveted NBC job Saturday Night Live.

Among his most popular SNL bits was a biting print of Burt Reynolds, with a charming smile, a bolo tie, and an attendant demeanor.

Macdonald’s departure from the series was controversial in itself, and he often attributed his dismissal to his continuing to castigate Simpson as a murderer despite what he said was the displeasure of Don Ohlmeyer, the division president. from the West Coast of NBC, who Macdonald said was a friend of the former great footballer.

After leaving SNL in 1998, Macdonald starred in his own comedy series, The spectacle of the norm, from 1999 to 2001. He also did a one-season talk show for Netflix, Norm Macdonald a un spectacle, in 2018. He also won a CableACE Award nomination as a member of the editorial staff of the 1992 variety show Free to Laugh: A Comedy and Music Special for Amnesty International.

Over the years he has made numerous appearances on various late night shows including Late Night with David Letterman and Conan, and had a recurring role on The middle.

He also released three stand-up comedy albums: Ridicule (1996), me standing (2011) and Hitler’s dog, gossip and deception (2017), the latter excerpt from a Netflix special.


Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.

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