‘Saturday Night Live’ comedian Norm Macdonald dies aged 61 after cancer battle

He was fighting the disease privately for nearly a decade

Norm Macdonald, comedian and veteran of Saturday Night Live, has died aged 61.

Macdonald died today (September 14) after a nine-year private battle with cancer, as confirmed by his management firm Brillstein Entertainment to Deadline.

His longtime producing partner and friend, Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with him when he died, said: “He was most proud of his comedy. He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him.

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“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.”

Norm Macdonald
Norm Macdonald has died aged 61 CREDIT: Greg Doherty/Getty Images

Macdonald was part of the SNL cast from 1993 to 1998, where he became known as the anchor of the show’s ‘Weekend Update’ segment for three seasons. Before landing a job at SNL, he was hired to write for Roseanne Barr’s sitcom Roseanne in 1992.

After leaving SNL, Macdonald starred in 1998 film Dirty Work and his own sitcom The Norm Show from 1999 to 2001. In 2018, he received his own talk show on Netflix titled Norm Macdonald Has A Show.

Seth Rogen paid tribute to the comedian on Twitter: “I was a huge fan of Norm Macdonald and I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting.

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“I would stay up specifically to watch him on talk shows. He was the funniest guest of all time. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the all time greats. RIP.”

Director Edgar Wright posted: “Of the many addictive holes you can disappear down on the internet, the most pleasurable is ‘Norm Macdonald chat show appearances’. Thanks for all the laughs Norm, very sorry to see you go.”

Actor Josh Gad described him as “one of the most underrated and hilarious SNL performers”.

You can check out more tributes below.

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