Norm MacDonald Last Standup Special

The comedian Norm MacDonald, who spent years making millions laugh on “Saturday Night Live,” tragically passed away last September at the age of 61 following a battle with cancer. Now, it has just been revealed that before his passing, MacDonald filmed a final Netflix stand-up special in secrecy.

MacDonald Filmed Secret Special Before His Death

Though MacDonald was diagnosed with cancer back in 2012, he kept his battle private from his fans. Before going into the hospital in the summer of 2020, 

“His test results were not good, so during the heart of COVID-19 pandemic and literally the night before going in for a procedure, he wanted to get this on tape just in case — as he put it — things went south,” Lori Jo Hoekstra, Macdonald’s longtime producing partner, told The Hollywood Reporter. “It was his intention to have a special to share if something happened.”

MacDonald filmed the entire hour of stand-up in his living room in just one take.

“He looks great and the material’s fantastic,” Hoekstra said.

Related: Iconic Comedian Norm MacDonald Has Died

‘He Ended Up Getting Sicker’

When MacDonald made it through this procedure, the material was shelved. However, he tragically ended up becoming even sicker a year later, before his Netflix special could be filmed in front of a live audience.

“He ended up getting sicker last August and September, and he remembered he had shot this and asked me to find it so he could watch it,” Hoekstra explained. “He ended up watching it before he passed away.”

MacDonald himself suggested the title, which is “Nothing Special,” and Netflix will be releasing it on May 30. It’s set to be a one-of-a-kind event the likes of which has never been seen before.

“From the various conversations I’ve had within our circle of friends in comedy and producing, no one has heard of any comparison to this [situation] — not even close,” Hoekstra said. 

“It makes me so happy that I can share it, but also so sad that we can’t share it with him,” she added. “He didn’t do this for the shock that it exists. He shot it because he loved his material and was so proud of his material. He worked so hard and it really would’ve bothered him to have done all that work and not been able to show everybody. He did it for the stand-up. I just hope people appreciate that he did this.”

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‘I Definitely Cried’

The special will include appearances by Adam Sandler, Conan O’Brien, Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, David Spade, and Molly Shannon as they talk about MacDonald during the recent Netflix Is a Joke Fest.

“I definitely cried,” Spade said on the “Fly on the Wall” podcast, referring to when he saw MacDonald’s special.

“He just said, ‘You know, I keep trying to do my set,’ and he was getting weaker, which we didn’t know,” Spade then recalled. “They keep shutting down theaters, and they wouldn’t let him go, so then he goes, ‘I’m just going to run it once, just kind of say it out loud.’”

Be sure to check out MacDonald’s special on May 30, because something tells us this one is going to be one to remember for years to come! 

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