Norm MacDonald Dead: Shocking Cause of Death of SNL Alum Kept a Secret for 10 YEARS
Norm Macdonald, who became one of Saturday Night Live's most prominent and popular cast members because to his laconic delivery of cutting and biting insights, died today after a nine-year private battle with cancer. He was 61 years old at the time.
His management company, Brillstein Entertainment, confirmed Macdonald's death to Deadline. Lori Jo Hoekstra, Macdonald's longtime producing partner and friend who was with him when he died, claimed the comedian had been battling cancer for over a decade but was trying to keep his health issues hidden from family, friends, and fans.
"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."
In November, Macdonald was slated to perform at the New York Comedy Festival.
Macdonald was a member of the SNL cast from 1993 to 1998, with three seasons as the host of the show's "Weekend Update" segments. Macdonald was one of the most influential "Update" anchors, dropping the then popular Chevy Chase's comedic approach and toward his successor Colin Quinn's more caustic political approach.
Macdonald, who was born in Quebec City on October 17, 1959, began his career in show business in Canada's comedy clubs, where he developed the deadpan style that would become his hallmark.
An on-the-mark impersonation of Burt Reynolds, complete with his irristisble, charming smile, bolo tie, and wiseguy attitude, was one of his most popular SNL routines, often at clashes with Will Ferrell's Alex Trebek.
Seth Rogen, Jim Carrey and John Stewart were among the firsts who paid tributes to Norm via social media and highlighted his iconic work in comedy.
"Oh f**k. I was a huge fan of Norm Macdonald and I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting," Seth said on Twitter. "I would stay up specifically to watch him on talk shows. He was the funniest guest of all time. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the the all time greats. RIP."
At the same time, Jim said on the social media platform, "My dear friend Norm MacDonald passed after a brave 10 year battle. He was one of our most precious gems. An honest and courageous comedy genius. I love him."
"No one could make you break like Norm Macdonald. Hilarious and unique. F**k cancer," Stewart wrote.
Many others are now following suit.