The world just lost the great Norm Macdonald far too soon. The Saturday Night Live alum was one of the show’s most memorable and beloved voices.
Macdonald’s management firm, Brillstein Entertainment, confirmed the news to Deadline this morning. He was only 61 years old when he passed away earlier today.
Comedic Great Was Secretly Sick
Norm’s longtime friend and professional partner, Lori Jo Hoekstra, told Deadline that the comedian had been privately suffering from cancer for the last nine years. It was important to him that the status of his health was under wraps, even keeping some friends and family members in the dark.
“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra said. “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.”
Friends, Colleagues Grieve for Norm
Of course, the internet is already mourning the loss of such a beloved figure. Comedy giants are sharing thoughts about their memories with Norm, his impact on their work, and the pain they feel as they process this tragic news.
I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today.
— Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien) September 14, 2021
My dear friend Norm MacDonald passed after a brave 10 year battle. He was one of our most precious gems. An honest and courageous comedy genius. I love him.
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) September 14, 2021
RIP Norm MacDonald. I saw him perform live when I was in college. It was one of the most memorable performances I’ve ever seen. A complete mastery of standup comedy performance and an unparalleled passion for the art of writing jokes. Never met him. Love to his friends & family. https://t.co/gpWlNy2hwN
— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) September 14, 2021
This photo was taken after I was a guest on Norm’s show. At dinner the laughs just continued nonstop. He will be missed. RIP Norm Macdonald pic.twitter.com/DToJCUBdU2
— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) September 14, 2021
I will miss you forever!@normmacdonald pic.twitter.com/guVNMZpyzM
— Artie Lange (@artiequitter) September 14, 2021
To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm MacDonald. You always hoped he would hang around after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh. So hilarious and so generous with his personality. I’m gonna miss him.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) September 14, 2021
Because of course Prince recognized Norm Macdonald was a genius… https://t.co/SaMBVt7jkf
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) September 14, 2021
Norm Macdonald was in a complete league of his own. Every person in our industry knows this. I am devastated by his passing. His work inspired me and so many other Canadians growing up. Rest easy.
— Giacomo Gianniotti (@GiacomoKG) September 14, 2021
Norm MacDonald was my OG Weekend Update anchor and a pantheon level late night guest. So funny, witty, irreverent and understated. The comedy world just lost a 1 of 1. RIP.
— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) September 14, 2021
— Paul Scheer (@paulscheer) September 14, 2021
Check back soon for updates regarding Norm Macdonald’s passing.