'SNL' Alum Michael McCarthy Dead at 61

A beloved member of the Saturday Night Live family has passed away. According to the Chicago Tribune, Michael McCarthy, a former writer for SNL, died on Wednesday at the age of 61 after a battle with cancer. The publication reported that his wife, Susan Messing, and his 17-year-old stepdaughter, Sofia Mia Canale, were by his side when he died in the North Side Chicago home that they shared together. Following the news of his passing, many of those who loved McCarthy spoke out about the tragic loss.

McCarthy made a name for himself in the Chicago comedy scene before making the jump to SNL. The Chicago Tribune reported that the writer was involved in the esteemed Second City comedy club, working as the club's very first intern. When he was 24, he became a staff writer on SNL. During his time on the comedy program, McCarthy was well-known for being both a wonderful talent and a lovely human being.

"I've met few humans as sweet, loving and kind as Michael," SNL writer and actor Tim Kazurinsky shared. "His New York apartment was a crash pad for any Chicagoan who needed a place to stay. He'd not only give you the shirt off his back, he'd insist on washing and ironing it first. Then he'd stuff a few bucks in the pocket. He was forever bestowing kindnesses on friends, students, and pretty much any soul in need."

"I met Michael in 1980 in Del Close's private workshop," Tim O'Malley also shared about McCarthy. "Michael was funny and so was I. But he was smart funny, super smart. He gave me my first paid job in show business — 14 bucks a week — when I joined his 'Let's Have Lunch' comedy group. We had one weekly gig at the No Exit Café, passing the hat for our 'salary.' He took a chance on me, and I am forever grateful. We ended up on the (Second City) Mainstage together, always my goal. Great person, loving friend, smart, funny man."

McCarthy is survived by Messing, Canale, and his stepson Liam Maxwell Conner. Additionally, he is survived by his siblings Patrick McCarthy, Mary Ellen Davis, Matthew McCarthy, and Soren McCarthy. Like his friends, McCarthy's stepdaughter spoke to the Chicago Tribune about the late writer, and she had nothing but lovely things to say about him.


"He was great, the kind of person who never forced me to open up and talk to him, but always made himself available," Canale said about her stepfather. "And I always wanted to talk to him because he was genuinely so wonderful to talk to."