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Norm Macdonald Dies at 61

Norm Macdonald in Netflix's 'Norm McDonald Has a Show' (2018)
Norm Macdonald on the set of his Netflix talk show in 2018. (Image credit: Eddy Chen/Netflix )

Norm Macdonald, a comedian who anchored the news on Saturday Night Live, has died. He privately battled cancer for almost a decade, according to Deadline, and died at 61. 

Macdonald, a Canadian, was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1993 to 1998, and anchored “Weekend Update” for three seasons. 

“Today is a sad day," SNL shared in a statement. "All of us here at SNL mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation. There are so many things that we’ll miss about Norm – from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise. But most of all he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.”

After SNL, Macdonald starred in The Norm Show, which was shortened to Norm, on ABC for three seasons. He had a Netflix show, Norm Macdonald Has a Show, that ran for one season. His guests on the talk show were David Spade, Drew Barrymore, David Letterman, who was listed as “location scout” in the credits, and Lorne Michaels. 

Macdonald had gotten in a bit of trouble when the Netflix show came out in 2018 after he defended Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr in light of their wrongdoings. He said his show would not touch on timely topics. “It’s in the Netflix vault forever, so there’s nothing that’s time-stamped,” he told B+C/Multichannel News.

Macdonald was a guest on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

His comedy albums include Me Doing Standup and Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery

He wrote the novel Based on a True Story: Not a Memoir

Macdonald had a comedy tour set up for the fall.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.