Legendary Saturday Night Live alumni and sworn enemy of political correctness Norm MacDonald has passed away at the young age of 61 after a long battle with cancer.
MacDonald’s tragic death on Tuesday, September 14 came as a shock to many, as his nine-year-long battle with cancer was something the “deadpan” comedian dealt with privately.
His manager Marc Gurvitz confirmed the news of the comic’s passing to The New York Post.
MacDonald, who was born in Quebec City, Canada, “was determined to keep his struggle away from family, friends and fans,” said his friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with the comic when he passed. She remarked that he “fought cancer hard.”
“He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic,” she added.
Norm Macdonald Says He's Not Funny Anymore Thanks to PC Culture https://t.co/klKtfe3pDi— TMZ (@TMZ) November 2, 2018
Of course, viewers probably remember Norm most from his time hosting Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” from 1993 to 1998. The famous recurring segment poking fun at current events was made especially memorable by MacDonald’s deadpan delivery and fearlessness at going after topics and people considered off-limits.
It’s rumored that MacDonald tore into O.J. Simpson so hard during his trial that the pro football player and former convict’s then-friend NBC exec Don Ohlmeyer got MacDonald fired.
NBC Executive Don Ohlmeyer, a friend of OJ Simpson, threatened to fire Norm Macdonald if he continued calling Simpson a murderer. Suffice to say, Norm was fired. Not difficult to determine who's on the right side of history in that situation. pic.twitter.com/qPq9C6RBOd— Ronan Mullen (@RonanReigns) September 14, 2021
That same comic fearlessness also made MacDonald into an enemy of PC culture later in life. in more recent years, MacDonald has criticized the #MeToo movement and slammed cancel culture for ruining stand up comics’ careers.
During a 2018 episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he mocked the feminist mantra of “believe all women,” saying, “It used to be, ‘One hundred women can’t be lying.’ And then it became, ‘One woman can’t lie.’ And that became, ‘I believe all women.’ And then you’re like, ‘What?’”
And when almost rookie SNL member Shane Gillis was cancelled from the show before he even started due to old anti-Chinese jokes he made in the past, MacDonald was one his few defenders in the media. On Gillis’ behalf, MacDonald tweeted, “Of course you know, this means WAR.”
Rest in peace, Mr. MacDonald. You will be sorely missed.