Norm MacDonald
Source: Screenshot, YouTube

canvaNorm MacDonald, beloved comedian and former host of SNL’s Weekend Update, is dead at 61. The legendary comedian passed away after a long and private battle with cancer. Norm fought cancer for nearly a decade and kept it a secret from the public and fans. Norm is one of the greatest comics of all time, is universally beloved, and was considered a real “comedians’ comedian.”

Weekend Update 

Norm hit the big time when he hosted Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. Norm regularly pushed the boundaries of comedy and even taste as he lampooned everyone from OJ Simpson to Bill Clinton.

He was so harsh on the Juice that NBC fired him for continuing to make fun of Simpson.

His OJ jokes were incredibly biting and clever. Here’s a compilation of some of the best. 

What made Norm stand out compared to other Update anchors was his ability to catch an audience off-guard. Often SNL jokes are tee-ups that anyone can guess the punchline to.

MacDonald abandoned traditional joke-telling and went with what he and others called “anti-jokes.” Where the joke itself wasn’t just what was said, but how it made the audience feel.

The awkward uncomfortableness of his words would itself lead to big laughs. He didn’t just play with words.

Norm played with the very concept of comedy and the audiences’ psyche. 

Related: David Spade Laments That Cancel Culture Is Destroying Comedy – ‘One Wrong Move And You’re Cancelled’

Stand-Up Comedy

Norm’s main bread and butter was stand-up comedy, and he was one of the best to do this.

His specials blended stories and traditional jokes that pushed the limit. Norm could make you laugh about anything.

His special “Hitler’s Dogs, Gossip, and Trickery” is a must-watch if you have Netflix. He has a record on Spotify, and I think this bit about cancer would be especially appropriate to listen to today:


Take a look at his final appearance on Letterman. No one can write and deliver like this. 

Master Joke Writer

As well known as he was for his delivery, he could write jokes better than anyone.

He could write old-timey “story” jokes that meandered to an unexpected punchline that would smack you right in the face.

On his talk show, he would trick comedians and guests into saying vile and whacky punchlines that would make the whole studio crackup.

Warning, some of these jokes are explicit:

Related: Jeff Dunham’s ‘Creepy Uncle Joe’ Whispers Under The Covers In Hilarious Video

Norm MacDonald Was A Twitter Genius

Norm also thrived on Twitter. Between tweets on current events and sports betting, he would drop in some amazing jokes.

Take a look:

I’ll Miss You Norm

This one hurts.

Norm was and is my favorite comedian.

No one could craft a joke as well as he could. His laid-back style hid a sharp and incisive mind.

I’ll be spending the rest of the day watching compilations and remembering some of his most memorable moments.

Thank you so much, Norm. I will miss you. I hope to see you again someday.

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