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Norm MacDonald, ‘SNL’ and ‘Billy Madison’ Star, Dead at 61
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Rest in peace, Norm Macdonald. The Saturday Night Live alum died on Tuesday, and his friends and fans were quick to pay tribute.
Macdonald's death came after a nine-year private battle with cancer, his management firm, Brillstein Entertainment, told Deadline. According to the outlet, Lori Jo Hoekstra, Macdonald's longtime producing partner and friend, was with the comedian when he died. He was 61.
"He was most proud of his comedy," Hoekstra said. "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."
Macdonald was revered in the comedy world, and stars including Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien, Jim Carrey, Patton Oswalt and Steve Martin have taken to social media to honor him upon hearing of his death.
Sandler and Macdonald worked together on numerous occasions, including SNL and movies Billy Madison and Grown Ups.
"Every one of us loved Norm. Some of the hardest laughs of my life with this man. Most fearless funny original guy we knew. An incredible dad. A great friend. A legend. Love u pal," Sandler tweeted of the beloved comedian.
Every one of us loved Norm. Some of the hardest laughs of my life with this man. Most fearless funny original guy we knew. An incredible dad. A great friend. A legend. Love u pal. pic.twitter.com/2Pftw28uPc
Stewart was also emotional about his friend's death, posting, "No one could make you break like Norm Macdonald. Hilarious and unique. F**k cancer."
O'Brien likewise paid tribute on social media. "I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald," he tweeted. "Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I'm so sad for all of us today."
I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I'm so sad for all of us today.
Bob Saget paid tribute with a recent snapshot of himself and Macdonald on Twitter, and said he was "devastated" by the news of his death.
"Met Norm in Ottawa when he was in my audience at 17 years old. Been close for decades. We have lost a comedic genius," the Fuller House star wrote. "No other voice in comedy has been as uniquely prolific, brazen, dark, hilarious, and heartfelt. Love you forever, Norm."
Devastated. Met Norm in Ottawa when he was in my audience at 17 years old. Been close for decades. We have lost a comedic genius. No other voice in comedy has been as uniquely prolific, brazen, dark, hilarious, and heartfelt. Love you forever, Norm. pic.twitter.com/V44nyouhQN
Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live honored the former cast member and "Weekend Update" anchor with a special memorial on Instagram.
"Today is a sad day. All of us here at SNL mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation," the post read. "There are so many things that we’ll miss about Norm - from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise. But most of all he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm."
To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm MacDonald. You always hoped he would hang around after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh. So hilarious and so generous with his personality. I’m gonna miss him.
Norm, I didn’t just like you. I loved you. You didn’t just make me laugh. You made me cry with laughter. I’m still crying today. But when I think of you, my tears will run down my face with all the memories of all the laughter and all the joys that you brought to all of us. Rest pic.twitter.com/0cRWLhh5ec
Oh fuck. I was a huge fan of Norm Macdonald and I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting. I would stay up specifically to watch him on talk shows. He was the funniest guest of all time. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the the all time greats. RIP.
I love the science of comedy. Comedy nerds know that the one step beyond #TheAristcrats was the time Norm Macdonald decided to commit to doing a kitschy mediocre roast for Bob Saget. It was beyond trolling.
Norm McDonald always just marched to the beat of his own drum. That beat didn’t always groove with everyone, but for those whom it did- it was an infectious rhythm that always left you wanting more. Like he was constantly in on a joke that the rest of us had to catch up to…
rip norm mcdonald. one of my first comedy hero’s. every single time i saw him, whether in person or on tv he always surpassed any expectations of how immensely funny he was. truly one of a kind. so lucky to have known you. you will be missed
So sad. Thanks Norm for all the great laughs and always speaking your mind. You were one of my all time favorites and one of the funniest of all time. RIP Sure gonna be missed. #comedylegendpic.twitter.com/1P4pAGpwtu
The Canadian-born Macdonald began his career as a writer on Roseanne, a job he held from 1992 to 1993. He went on to appear on Saturday Night Live from 1993 to 1998. He anchored the show's "Weekend Update" segment for three seasons. Following his SNL stint, Macdonald led his own sitcom, The Norm Show, for three years. Throughout his career, Macdonald appeared in films including Billy Madison, Funny People and Grown Ups, and TV series including Sunnyside, Girlboss and The Middle.
Macdonald is survived by his 28-year-old son, Dylan Macdonald.