Norm Macdonald is being remembered by his Saturday Night Live family on Tuesday, after the shocking news of his death due to cancer at 61.
“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 or any other generation. 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,” Saturday Night Live said in a statement.
Macdonald joined the cast of SNL during the show’s 19th season in 1993 working alongside Jay Mohr and Sarah Silverman as writers who’d sometimes appear as featured players in a few episodes. His first appearance was in the season’s second episode hosted by Shannen Doherty and musical guest Cypress Hill, on Oct. 2, 1993.
He took over the Weekend Update desk a season later where he become known for his controversial commentary on current events like the O.J. Simpson murder trial; political figures including Bill Clinton and Bob Dole; and Michael Jackson. He was replaced by Colin Quinn in early 1998 but continued to appear in sketches. His final appearance was on March 14 of the same year.
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Many of his former SNL colleagues, friends, and fans tributed Macdonald on social media.
“Norm was in a comedy genre of his own. No one like him on this planet. Please do yourself a favor and watch his stuff. He was one of a kind of all time,” said Silverman.
“In a business filled with rock and rollers, Norm Macdonald was playing jazz,” Mohr wrote.
Adam Sandler tweeted, “Every one of us loved Norm. Some of the hardest laughs of my life with this man. Most fearless funny original guy we knew. An incredible dad. A great friend. A legend. Love u pal.”
“Norm, I didn’t just like you. I loved you,” shared Rob Schneider. “You didn’t just make me laugh. You made me cry with laughter. I’m still crying today. But when I think of you, my tears will run down my face with all the memories of all the laughter and all the joys that you brought to all of us. Rest.”
Molly Shannon joined SNL in 1995 as a featured player as Macdonald was promoted to repertory player. She shared her love for Macdonald via Instagram.
“Norm, may you Rest In Peace. ❤️💔 Your comedy and the way you cared so much about words and sentences and storytelling was like no one else. Just brilliant. Your writing was like poetry. You preferred long dead authors like Mark Twain. Your favorite book was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. You were always reading!! You poured that love you had of those great authors in your own work. You were one of a kind. And a lot of people don’t know this but Norm was a math genius. Great father and friend. Old time elegance…..love ya baby,” she wrote.
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His former co-star Kevin Nealon shared his feelings of shock at the loss.
“I was absolutely shocked and saddened to hear of Norm MacDonald’s passing this morning,” Nealon said. “He was, without a doubt, one of a kind. So clever, daring, well-read, and smart as a whip. His comedy was brilliant and at times biting. We all loved him on SNL’s Weekend Update and I don’t actually think he ever got credit for coining the phrase, ‘Fake News.’ Norm and I often toured doing stand-up and occasionally golfed together. A few years ago we took a road trip to Palm Springs and he insisted on blasting Johnny Cash tunes the entire way, windows down with his barefoot dangling out. Luckily I was driving. Thank you for your unique brilliance and charm, Norm. I miss you already.”
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More tributes from his SNL family can be found below.
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