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Who was the SNL comedian Norm Macdonald?

Norm Macdonald was an influential comedian and former SNL cast member. He tragically passed away at the age of 61 after a nine year battle with cancer.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: The Laugh Factory in Hollywood honors Norm Macdonald on their marquee with the message 'Rest In Peace Make God Laugh' after the announcement of the comedian's death on September 14, 2021 in Hollywood, Californi
AaronP/Bauer-GriffinGC Images

Norman Macdonald was a comedian, an actor, and a writer and his loss will be deeply felt.

Macdonald privately struggled with his battle with cancer for nine years. According to Macdonald’s friend and producing partner, Lori Jo Hoekstra, Macdonald chose to keep his battle private from his family, fans, and friends. The type of cancer has not been disclosed.

Macdonald joined the cast of SNL in 1993. He is most well known for his “weekend update” on SNL, one that gained him much fame and acclaim. Some of his notable jokes came during the O.J. Simpson trial. When Simpson was deemed not guilty by the California courts, Macdonald joked, “Well, it is finally official: Murder is legal in the state of California.”

The comedian was born in Canada and reportedly dropped out of high school at the age of fifteen. Both his mother, Ferne (Mains), and father, Percy Lloyd Macdonald, were teachers. His father was also in the military.

Macdonald’s career started with standup comedy and eventually led him to the big stage. He started working for The Dennis Miller Show and Roseanne as a writer before working before getting recognized for his standup talent that led him to Saturday Night Live.

Macdonald had many roles in films throughout his career, such as in Doctor Doolittle, Billy Madison, and Funny People, among others. He was also a regular on late-night television.

Macdonald married in 1988 to Connie Vaillancourt and they had one son named Dylan Lloyd Macdonald who was born in 1993.

According to the comedian’s close friend Hoekstra, “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.”

Celebrities and comedians around the world have shared their grief and sadness regarding Macdonald’s passing.


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