Norm Macdonald was best known for his stand-up comedy and his stint as the host of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. But the comedian, who died on Tuesday at age 61, has also been praised over the years for his hilarious and unpredictable appearances on late-night shows, with several hosts remembering him Tuesday as one of their funniest guests.
Where most celebrities and public figures appear on talk shows with mundane anecdotes in order to promote something, Macdonald always came prepared with quirky jokes and stories that elicited laughter from the hosts. as well as the public (and home viewers), and he was faster than anyone. on the couch. (Just ask Carrot Top for the Macdonalds clip out of the blue dig at the prop comic on Late night with Conan OBrien was shared widely on Tuesday.)
Macdonald’s stories and tracks were sometimes peppered with sticky network TV topics and feelings, and some of his more derogatory jokes didn’t age well. He also briefly had hot water for supporting disgraced friends Louis CK and Roseanne in 2018, which resulted in the cancellation of a scheduled appearance on the Jimmy Fallons Tonight Show.
Fallon was among the comics that praised Macdonald following news of his death, calling him one of the greatest comedians of all time.
God, was going to miss him, Fallon continued. He was a family friend of the show, really, to us. Most of the other hosts felt the same. Here are some of Macdonald’s best late-night moments.
With David Letterman
Macdonald made his television debut on the Lettermans NBC show, Late Night, in 1990 and has become one of Letterman’s favorite comics. As Letterman wrapped up his long late-night run in 2015, Macdonald was the last stand-up to perform during Letterman’s tenure. (By all accounts, in the stand-up world, Norm was the best, Letterman tweeted on Tuesday.)
But perhaps his most memorable appearance came on CBS’s The Late Show in 1998, right after Macdonald got fired from Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update desk. Macdonald had risen to fame for anchoring the segment for three seasons, but was abruptly removed, apparently because NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer had become enraged by Macdonald’s biting jokes about Ohlmeyers’ friend OJ Simpson.
Shortly after the announcement of his dismissal, Macdonald appeared on The Late Show, where Letterman lambasted Ohlmeyer, calling Macdonald one of the funniest men working on television today.
Macdonald was a frequent guest on various Obriens shows. One of his most famous tracks told meandering, convoluted stories that often ended with intentionally cheesy punchlines heightened by Macdonald’s impassive delivery.
While generally great on his own, Macdonald was also reliably hilarious when appearing alongside other guests, including in a kitchen segment off the rails with OBrien and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, in 2009.
On tonight’s show
Macdonald was also a Tonight Show favorite from the 1990s. Macdonald’s knack for turning dark moments into comedy has never been more evident than in an appearance in 1997 with Jay Leno, which largely revolved around a story about her cat having a heart attack.
Despite the 2018 installment, Macdonald was also a frequent guest of Fallon. In 2017, he appeared on the show to promote his largely fictional book based on a true story: not a memoir. He also shared a meta diary entry for the next book he was working on, A Sequel to My First Book.
Macdonald’s reputation as a comedian and long career made him a favorite performer of other comics, and his appearances with friends like OBrien were often memorable.
Arguably the best episode of Lights Out, David Spades Comedy Central’s short-lived late-night show, came when Spade brought Macdonald back with Dennis Miller and Kevin Nealon for a weekend update reunion. end.
Macdonald’s friendship with Jon Stewart was palpable during his appearances on The Daily Show, as in an appearance in 2003 to promote his Fox sitcom, A Minute With Stan Hooper. As was often the case with late night hosts, Stewart poked fun at Macdonald’s well-documented gambling addiction.
But Macdonald thrived on most late-night panels, regardless of the host or additional guests. Macdonald and Craig Ferguson linked to their mutual dependencies, enriching each other with stories of drunken getaways and time spent in rehab. While a visit in 2016 to the James Cordens Late Late Show, Lea Micheles’ story about going to Disneyland for her birthday turned into a much more twisted story by Macdonald about Mickey Mouse.
As Stewart said in his 2003 Daily Show interview, television is better when Norm Macdonald is on it. This has never been truer than when he was on a couch late at night.
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