Comedian and actor Norm McDonald has died from cancer at the age of 61.
Known for his role as the Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live, Norm also created The Norm Show in 1999 and appeared in films such as Billy Madison and Dr Dolittle.
Jeff Danis, president of DPN Talent and one of Macdonald’s reps told Variety: “Norm was an original! He defined American humor with honesty and blunt force.”
Why did Norm McDonald get fired from SNL?
Norm McDonald was a cast member on Saturday Night Live between 1993 and 1998. He is most known for his role as the anchor of the show’s “Weekend Update.”
In 1997 Norm was removed from “Weekend Update.” The comedian explained that he was told by top NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer the reason he was fired from the segment was because he “wasn’t funny.”
During his time on “Weekend Update,” Norm was known for constantly mocking O.J Simpson, who was a friend of Ohlmeyer’s, according to Fox News.
During a 1998 interview with David Letterman, Norm said of Ohlmeyer:
“He doesn’t think I’m funny in ‘Weekend Update.’ And God only knows… and, you know, it’s just a matter of opinion. He also thinks that O.J. is innocent.”
After being unhappy with taking part in the run-of-the-mill SNL sketches, Norm decided to leave NBC in 1998.
However, the comedian was asked to host the show just a year later, a decision even Norm himself found strange considering the terms on which he left.
During his opening monologue Norm spoke about his firing from “Weekend Update” and said:
“It’s only a year-and-a-half later and now they ask me to host the show. So I wondered… how did I go in a year-and-a-half from being not funny enough to be even allowed in the building to being so funny that I’m not hosting the show? How did I suddenly get so damn funny?”
Norm McDonald dies at the age of 61
Norm McDonald has died of cancer at the age of 61, his management confirmed to Deadline.
Norm’s longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra was with him when he died and said that the comedian had been battling cancer for nearly a decade but was determined to keep his health struggles private.
Lori 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. 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.”