Saturday Night Live Star Norm Macdonald Dead at 61 After Private Cancer Battle

“SNL” Alum Norm Macdonald Dead at 61

The comedy world has lost a star.

According to Deadline, Norm Macdonald died on Sept. 14 at the age of 61. The Saturday Night Live alum’s management firm Brillstein Entertainment confirmed news of his passing to the outlet, and his producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra revealed that Macdonald had been privately battling cancer for nearly a decade.

“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra told Deadline. “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.”

Macdonald was set to appear in the upcoming New York Comedy Festival in November.

Macdonald was born in Quebec City, Quebec in 1959. He appeared on Star Search in 1990 and went on to write for a number of comedy series, including The Dennis Miller Show and Roseanne.

From 1993 to 1998, Macdonald was a cast member on SNL. During his time on the show, the comedian served as an anchor on the popular segment “Weekend Update” and became famous for his impressions, including of Burt Reynolds.

Over the years, Macdonald acted in several movies, including Billy Madison and Dirty Work, and appeared on a number of TV shows, including Norm, which he co-created. In addition, he did voice-over work for Skylanders Academy and Mike Tyson Mysteries, and released several comedy specials. He also appeared on many late-night programs over the course of his career.

Michael Schwartz/WireImage

After news of Macdonald’s passing broke, several stars took to social media to pay tribute. “We loved Norm MacDonald,” Steve Martin tweeted. “One of a kind.” Added Jon Stewart, “No one could make you break like Norm Macdonald. Hilarious and unique. F–k cancer.”

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family).
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