Popular Canadian Comedian Norm MacDonald Dies at 61 

A popular Canadian comedian Norm MacDonald has died at 61 after a nine-year private battle with cancer, according to his family and representatives.

 

The Canadian comic was born in Quebec City in 1959 and got his start in Canadian clubs before moving to the US to pursue TV comedy writing, BBC reports. 

 

He worked for the Roseanne programme before joining Saturday Night Live to host the news parody skit Weekend Update. Known for his dry delivery, MacDonald had fans in the US and worldwide.

 

“He was most proud of his comedy. 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,” Lori Jo Hoekstra, MacDonald’s long-time producing partner, said in a statement.

 

MacDonald was also known for his roles in comedy films such as Dirty Work, Billy Madison and Dr Doolittle. 

 

MacDonald was known for his deadpan delivery style, and impressions of Hollywood stars such as Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino.

 

After leaving Saturday Night Live, he starred in his own comedy series, Norm, from 1999-2001. He also hosted a Netflix programme called Norm Macdonald Has a Show in 2018.

 

Comedian and actor Jim Carrey tweeted: “He was one of our most precious gems. An honest and courageous comedy genius.”

 

“I am absolutely devastated about Norm MacDonald,” wrote late-night host Conan O’Brien. “I will never laugh that hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today.”

 

Seth Rogan recalled his own beginning as a Canadian comic, saying: “I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the all-time greats,” Rogan added.

 

 

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