I’m actually shocked about this one.
Norm Macdonald, whose sharp comedic delivery made him one of Saturday Night Live‘s most influential and beloved cast members, died today after a nine-year private battle with cancer. He was 61.
Norm’s death was announced to Deadline.com by his management firm Brillstein Entertainment. The comedian’s longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with him when he died, who said Norm had been battling cancer for nearly 10 years but was determined to keep his health struggles private, away from family, friends and fans.
“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,” Lori Jo Hoekstra said.
Norm was scheduled to be in the New York Comedy Festival lineup in November 2021.
Norm was an SNL cast member from 1993-98, making his greatest impact as the anchor of the show’s “Weekend Update” segments for three seasons. Remembered for his droll style and for his refusal to go easy on O.J. Simpson despite reported pressure from NBC execs which allegedly was his reason for being fired.
Norm is survived by his son, Dylan MacDonald, 26 and brother Neil MacDonald, a journalist in Canada.