The Canadian-born Macdonald, one of the most influential and beloved comedians who is known for his laconic delivery of sharp and incisive observations, died today after a nine-year battle with cancer, reports Deadline. "Macdonald’s death was announced to Deadline by his management firm Brillstein Entertainment," explains Deadline's Greg Evans. "The comedian’s longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with him when died, said Macdonald had been battling cancer for nearly a decade but was determined to keep his health struggles private, away from family, friends and fans." Macdonald was scheduled to be in the New York Comedy Festival lineup in November. “He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra said. “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 was part of Saturday Night Live's cast from 1993 to 1998, but he is best known for hosting "Weekend Update" from 1994 to 1997 -- when NBC fired him for constantly mocking O.J. Simpson, a longtime friend of NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer. Macdonald is widely considered to be one of the best, if not the best, "Weekend Update" anchor. Macdonald was a regular on Conan O'Brien and David Letterman's late-night shows and was responsible for one of the funniest moments in Late Night with Conan O'Brien history. Macdonald, who portrayed Letterman on SNL, appeared on one of Dave's final Late Shows in 2015, where he delivered a stirring tribute. “Mr. Letterman is not for the mawkish, and he has no truck for the sentimental,” an emotional Macdonald said. “If something is true, it is not sentimental. And I say in truth, I love you.” In 2018, Letterman and Macdonald teamed up for Norm Macdonald Has a Show, which Dave helped pitch to Netflix's Ted Sarandos. After leaving SNL, Macdonald famously mocked athletes as host of the ESPYs and starred on the ABC sitcom Norm for three seasons, from 1999 to 2001. In 2003, he starred in the short-lived Fox sitcom A Minute with Stan Hooper. In recent years, Macdonald guest-starred on The Orville, lending his voice to the gelatin shape-shifting Lieutenant Yaphit aboard the USS Orville. He also was a regular on The Middle. Over the past decade, Macdonald was also known for his sports commentary on Twitter, where he frequently tweeted about golf.
TOPICS: Norm Macdonald, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Late Show with David Letterman, The Middle, A Minute with Stan Hooper, Norm, Norm Macdonald Has a Show, The Orville, Saturday Night Live, Conan O'Brien, David Letterman, Obits