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Comedian, former Saturday Night Live star was 61 – The Hollywood Reporter




Norm Macdonald, the tongue-in-cheek, caustic comedian who made a name for himself as the host of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live, as the star of his own sitcoms and appearances in films such as Dirty work and Funny people, died on Tuesday. He was 61 years old.

Macdonald has died after a private nine-year battle with cancer, his representative confirmed to The Hollywood reporter.

The stand-up comic from Quebec City started out in Hollywood as a writer on The Dennis Miller Show and Roseanne in 1992 before joining SNL one year later. He anchored the “Weekend Update” segments for three seasons and was a member of the cast until 1998.

He was fired from the anchor position in 1997 during the show’s Christmas break by NBC director Don Ohlmeyer; Macdonald claimed the reason was to make jokes about Ohlmeyer’s friend OJ Simpson following the murders of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole and his friend Ronald Goldman. (Colin Quinn has taken over the “weekend update” desk.)

Macdonald created and played a former hockey player with a gambling problem who becomes a social worker on the ABC sitcom Standard, which lasted for three seasons, from 1999 to 2001. (He admitted to having a gambling problem in real life.) He also served as a newspaper columnist turned television commentator in the 2003-04 comedy Fox. One minute with Stan Hooper, which only lasted 13 episodes.

Another program, Sports show with Norm Macdonald for Comedy Central, ran for nine episodes in 2011.

He wrote and starred alongside Artie Lange and Chris Farley in the revenge comedy Dirty work (1998), directed by Bob Saget, and appeared as himself in the film by Judd Apatow Funny people (2009). He has also appeared on the big screen in Milos Forman’s films. The people against Larry Flynt (1996) and Man on the moon (1999) and in less sophisticated tariffs, such as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999) and Screwed (2000).

Most recently, Macdonald reappeared as the lazy Rusty Heck on ABC. The environment; did the voice work Skylanders Academy, L’Orville and the mysteries of Mike Tyson; appeared as judge on NBC Last comic standing; played one of many Colonels Sanders in a series of KFC commercials; and hosted the Netflix 2018 talk show Norm Macdonald has a show.

Son of teachers, Norman Gene Macdonald was born in Quebec on October 17, 1959. After doing stand-up in clubs across Canada for nearly a decade – including a first four-month stint for Sam Kinison in 1984 – he moved to Los Angeles in 1992.

He quickly landed a writing job on Miller’s syndicated late-night talk show, and after Roseanne Barr saw him stand-up, she hired him for her ABC sitcom.

Shortly after being fired, Macdonald returned to SNL to welcome in October 1999.

“So I asked myself, how did I go from not being funny enough to even be allowed into the building, to being so funny that I’m now hosting the show?” How did I suddenly get so funny? he said in his opening monologue. “It was inexplicable for me, because, let’s face it, a year and a half is not enough for a guy to learn to be funny! Then I thought, I didn’t get any funnier, the show got really bad!

A statement from SNL read: “Today is a sad day. All of us here at SNL mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most successful comedic voices of his generation or any generation. There is so much we will miss about Norm – from his unwavering integrity and generosity to his constant ability to surprise. But above all, he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.

Macdonald also voiced the character of Lucky the Dog in Eddie Murphy’s. Dr Dolittle (1998) and its follow-up from 2001 and 2006.

A comic book comic, he was buddies with David Letterman and stood up – and had tears in his eyes – in the penultimate episode of the host’s CBS show in May 2015.

Survivors include his mother, Ferne; son Dylan; and brothers Neil and Leslie.

According to his rep, Macdonald had a Netflix special he was planning to shoot in March at the Ace Theater in Los Angeles and a developing Netflix film adapted from his 2016 book, From a true story: a memoir.

“Stand-up is a lousy business, made up of lousy guys like me who travel across the country, stay in lousy hotels and tell jokes they don’t find funny anymore,” he wrote in the introduction.

Jackie Strause and Lesley Goldberg contributed to this report.




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