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Norm Macdonald's Posthumous Comedy Special Premieres May 30 on Netflix

The comedian filmed the surprise special in his living room one year before his death.
  • Norm Macdonald (Photo: Netflix)
    Norm Macdonald (Photo: Netflix)

    Saturday Night Live alum and stand-up comedian Norm Macdonald filmed one last comedy special in secret prior to his death. Macdonald, who was 61 when he passed away in September 2021, filmed the stand-up special in his living room in the summer of 2020, and the unreleased hour will be available to stream on Netflix beginning May 30.

    In a recent episode of his Fly on the Wall podcast, comedian David Spade revealed Macdonald had taped a private rehearsal of what would have been the special before he passed away. Spade told Dana Carvey, his podcast co-host and SNL co-star, that while friends and fellow comedians gathered at a memorial for Macdonald, "We were sequestered to another room, another whole building, where [we] watched his special.”

    Lori Jo Hoekstra, Macdonald’s longtime producing partner, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Macdonald filmed the special at his home during the summer of 2020. "His test results were not good," said Hoekstra. "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. It was his intention to have a special to share if something happened.”

    The stand-up special was filmed in a single take before being hidden away in a closet for two years. Hoekstra explained that as Macdonald's condition began to worsen, he watched it and suggested a characteristically dark title, Nothing Special.

    “It makes me so happy that I can share it, but also so sad that we can’t share it with him,” Hoekstra said. "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.”

    In addition to the special, Netflix will release a tribute to the late comic with Adam Sandler, Conan O'Brien, Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, David Spade, and Molly Shannon. The discussion was taped earlier in May at Netflix is a Joke: The Festival.

    Kirstie Renae is a writer, blogger, and Austin-based actress with a penchant for binge-watching TV with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter @KirstieRenae.

    TOPICS: Norm Macdonald, Netflix, Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special, Saturday Night Live, Dana Carvey, David Spade