Norm Macdonald of SNL Fame Dead at 61

He had privately battled cancer for 9 years
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2021 1:54 PM CDT

Comedian Norm Macdonald's long and very private battle with cancer is over, with USA Today reporting the Saturday Night Live comedian died Tuesday at the age of 61. Longtime producing partner Lori Jo Hoekstra says she was with Macdonald when he died and had this to say about her friend to Deadline: "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."

Deadline reports that the Canadian comic made an indelible mark on SNL's "Weekend Update" segment, which he anchored over the course of three seasons (he was on the show from 1993 to 1998). It sums up his impact: "Remembered both for his droll style—and for his refusal to go easy on OJ Simpson despite reported pressure from NBC execs—Macdonald would prove one of the most impactful 'Update' anchors, pivoting away from the slapstick approach of Chevy Chase and toward the more barbed political approach of his successor Colin Quinn." (Read more Norm Macdonald stories.)

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