Norm Macdonald has died. The 61-year-old succumbed to a secret nine-year cancer battle. According to Lori Jo Hoekstra, his longtime producing partner and friend who was with him when he died, the “Saturday Night Live” alum was determined to keep his heath struggles private. He was scheduled to be part of the New York Comedy Festival lineup in November.
Norm got his start in the comedy clubs of his native Canada where he developed his trademark deadpan style. After being a contestant on “Star Search” in 1990, he got his first regular writing job on “The Dennis Miller Show.” Next up was another writing gig on “Roseanne” for the 1992-93 season before landing the coveted gig on “Saturday Night Live” where he stayed from 1993 to 1998, and was anchor of "Weekend Update." He also had his own sitcom, “Norm,” from 1999 to 2001 and had numerous TV guest shots and movie appearances.
“[Norm] was most proud of his comedy,” Lori Jo 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.”
- Tributes poured in from all over for the comic, who was described by “SNL” as “one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation.” The statement went on to say, “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.” David Letterman, Jon Stewart, Seth MacFarlane, and others shared memories and condolences.