Norm Macdonald, Iconic Comedian and Saturday Night Live Alum, Dead at 61

Norm Macdonald at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto in 2016. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Norm Macdonald, the Canadian comedian best known for his role as Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live, has died at 61, nine years after being diagnosed with cancer.

Macdonald’s management firm Brillstein Entertainment reportedly told Deadline that the comedian had died.

His longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra was reportedly with the comedian when he died.

“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra told the outlet. “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, who was born on October 17, 1959, in Quebec City, worked as an SNL cast member from 1993 to 1998, where he served as the anchor of the Weekend Update segment for three seasons. Some of his most notable celebrity impressions during his time on the show included those of Burt Reynolds, David Letterman, Larry King, and Quentin Tarantino.

Before his time on SNL, Macdonald was a contestant on Star Search and a writer for The Dennis Miller Show. He also wrote for Roseanne for the 1992 to 1993 season.

He went on to star in his own comedy series, The Norm Show, from 1999 to 2001. He also released three stand-up comedy albums: Ridiculous (1996), Me Doing Standup (2011), and Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery (2017).

In 2018, he briefly hosted a talk show for Netflix, Norm Macdonald Has a Show. 

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