Norm Macdonald, 'SNL' Star and Comedian, Dead at 61

Hollywood is currently mourning the unexpected loss of a notable Saturday Day Night alum. On Tuesday, Deadline reported that Norm MacDonald has died. His management team at Brillstein Entertainment confirmed the news. MacDonald was 61.

MacDonald's good friend and producing partner, Lori Jo Hoekstra, was by his side when he passed away on Tuesday morning. She explained that the former SNL star had been battling cancer for nearly a decade. However, he chose to keep his health issues private even from his family, friends, and fans. Hoekstra issued a statement about MacDonald that began, "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," she continued. "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."

Tributes to MacDonald have already begun to pour in. On Twitter, Seth Rogan wrote that the world "lost a comedy giant today." He added that MacDonald was one of his inspirations and that he was a huge fan, writing, "I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting. I would stay up specifically to watch him on talk shows. He was the funniest guest of all time." Sarah Silverman also addressed the loss of the comedian on Twitter, sharing, "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."

MacDonald was born in 1959 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. As his fans know, he made a name for himself in the comedy world. While pursuing stand-up, he also served as a writer on shows such as Roseanne and The Dennis Miller Show. Thanks to his work on Roseanne, MacDonald caught the attention of SNL creator Lorne Michaels. He worked on SNL from 1993 to 1998 and is, perhaps, most well-known for being the anchor of the show's Weekend Update segment. 

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The late comedian would go on to appear in a number of shows, including his own comedy series, The Norm MacDonald Show, which aired from 1999 to 2001. Over the years, MacDonald made appearances in shows such as The Middle and made frequent guest appearances on late-night television programs. He is survived by a son, Dylan, whom he welcomed with his ex-wife, Connie Vaillancourt.