Norm Macdonald, the popular comedian, actor, writer and “Saturday Night Live” star, has died after a protracted battle with cancer. He died at the age of 61.
Comedians like Seth Rogen, Jon Stewart, Ron Funches and Jim Gaffigan have paid tribute to Macdonald, “one of the greatest comedians to have ever lived,” on social media.
Macdonald started showbiz as a writer on “Roseanne” in 1992 after acquiring fame at comedy clubs in Canada. He teamed up with the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 1993, and in 1994, he started his memorable stint as “Weekend Update” anchor till early 1998, when Colin Quinn replaced him. Macdonald was popular for his dry jokes and impressions of Burt Reynolds, Larry King, David Letterman, Quentin Tarantino and many more during his five-year stint on the show.
Macdonald was the anchorman of “Weekend Update” during the trial of O.J. Simpson where he produced one of his most unforgettable jokes at the top of the episode after the acquittal of Simpson: “Well, it is finally official: Murder is legal in the state of California.” After he was removed from “Weekend Update,” Macdonald alleged that NBC Executive, Don Ohlmeyer, fired him over his controversial Simpson jokes, though poor ratings were cited by Ohlmeyer.
In the 90s, Macdonald appeared in films like “Billy Madison,” “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and Eddie Murphy’s “Dr Dolittle” as the voice of Lucky the dog.
In 1998, he starred in “Dirty Work,” a film directed by Bob Saget based on the Roald Dahl short story, about two friends who raised cash to pay for heart surgery for one of their fathers by establishing a revenge-for-hire business. The cast included Lange, Chris Farley, Jack Warden, Traylor Howard, Chevy Chase and Christopher McDonald, and featured cameos by Don Rickles, Adam Sandler, John Goodman, and others.