Tributes poured in for comedian Norm Macdonald after his death at the age of 61, having chosen never to publicly reveal the cancer he had battled for nine years.
The Canadian artist rose to fame in the 1990s when he joined the cast of the American sketch show Saturday Night Live.
Although he became a popular host with his impressions of Burt Reynolds and David Letterman, he was fired in 1998 because of his repeated jokes about OJ Simpson.
My dear friend Norm MacDonald has passed away after a courageous 10 year battle. It was one of our most precious gems. An honest and courageous comedy genius. I love it.
– Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) September 14, 2021
He continued to prove himself as a comedic guest and stand-up comedian on American talk shows, which even led to David Letterman telling the Washington Post in 2016 that he would have had Macdonald every week “if we could.” .
And his death, announced by his management company Brillstein Entertainment Partners, sparked a wave of poignant tributes from his fellow comedians.
I am absolutely devastated by Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so funny and uncompromising. I will never laugh so hard again. I am so sad for all of us today.
– Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien) September 14, 2021
Jim Carrey wrote on Twitter: “He was one of our most precious gems. An honest and courageous comedy genius. I love him.”
Adam Sandler recalled that Macdonald was an “original funny and fearless guy”.
He said: “Each of us loved Norm. Some of the hardest laughs of my life with this man. The most fearless and funny original guy we know. An amazing dad. A great friend. A legend. love my mate. “
Sarah Silverman added, “Norm was in a comedy genre of his own. No one is like him on this planet. Please do yourself a favor and watch his stuff. He was one of a kind of all time. “
Talk show host Conan O’Brien said, “I am absolutely devastated by Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so funny and uncompromising. I will not laugh again. never so strong. I’m so sad for all of us today. “
And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement honoring Macdonald, who grew up in Quebec.
He said: “The world was a much funnier place because Norm Macdonald was there. We have lost a comedic genius and a great Canadian. I send my condolences to his loved ones and to the countless fans who mourn his passing. “
Steve Martin said: “We loved Norm MacDonald. One of a kind.”
Actor Seth Rogen admitted to having “snatched up” the performance of the “comedy giant”.
Norm was into his own kind of comedy. No one like him on this planet. Please do yourself a favor and watch his business. He was one of a kind
– Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) September 14, 2021
He said: “I was a huge fan of Norm Macdonald and basically ripped off his performance when I first started playing, I would stay awake specifically to watch him on talk shows.
“He was the funniest guest ever. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the greatest of all time.”
British presenter James Corden described MacDonald as “one of the best comics of all time.”
While hosting his The Late Late Show he said: “Really sad news today we have lost an absolute comedy legend I’m sure you will have seen it in the news today – Norm Macdonald passed away today, far too soon, far too young, after a nine-year battle with cancer.
“A battle Norm never told anyone about. Because all Norm ever wanted to do was make us laugh and he was absolutely brilliant.
“There was no one like him. I felt privileged every time I was in his orbit. He leaves us as one of the best comics of all time, perhaps the greatest guest of the late night television story. “
Saturday Night Live added in a statement, “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 generation or any generation.
“There is so much that we will miss about Norm – from his unwavering integrity and generosity to his constant ability to surprise. But most of all, he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.”
In 2011, MacDonald said he thought it was wrong to say that you “lost your battle” with cancer when you passed away.
He added, “I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure if you die the cancer also dies at the exact same time.
“That, for me, is not a loss. It’s a draw.”