Norm Macdonald, a former “Saturday Night Live” actor and stand-up comedian who won a cult following with his straightforward delivery and ironic wit, died Tuesday.
He was 61 years old. Macdonald’s manager Marc Gurvitz has confirmed his death to NBC News.
Macdonald had been battling cancer for nearly a decade, but felt determined to keep his health concerns private, according to Lori Jo Hoekstra, production partner and longtime friend of Macdonald’s.
“He was most proud of his comedy. He never wanted the diagnosis to affect how the public or anyone close to him viewed him, “Hoekstra said in a statement.” 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. “
The deadline was the first to report the news.
Macdonald joined the cast of “SNL” in 1993 and appeared on the NBC sketch series for five seasons.
He played impersonations of late-night host David Letterman, talk show host Larry King, actor Burt Reynolds and Republican politician Bob Dole. But he was best known as the influential presenter of the “Weekend Update” news parody segment, where he regularly dabbled in “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff and poked fun at OJ Simpson in a funny and signature style.
He left “SNL” in 1998 and starred that year in the comedy film “Dirty Work”. He anchored the short-lived ABC sitcom “The Norm Show” (later abbreviated as “Norm”), which aired from 1999 to 2001.
In recent years, Macdonald has continued to perform stand-up comedies and reached out to fans with sardonic appearances on late-night talk shows (most famous “Conan” on TBS) and TV celebrity roasts. on Comedy Central.
In 2018, Macdonald hosted a 10-episode interview show on Netflix (“Norm Macdonald Has a Show”) where his guests included David Spade, Jane Fonda and “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels.
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