Comedian Norm Macdonald has died at 61 after a private nine-year battle with cancer. Macdonald’s longtime friend Lori Jo Hoekstra told Deadline that the former Saturday Night Live cast member died Tuesday morning, adding that the comedian was determined to keep his cancer battle private from family, friends and fans. Hoekstra told the outlet: “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.” Norm is survived by his son, Dylan.
The Canadian-born comedian began his career as a writer on The Dennis Miller Show and Roseanne in the early 1990s, where he was noticed by SNL producer Lorne Michaels. Macdonald was a cast member on the sketch comedy show for five years, from 1993 through 1998, three of which he spent anchoring the ‘Weekend Update’ segment. He also hosted “The Norm Show” from 1999 to 2001, and had roles in “Billy Madison”, “Dirty Work”, “Man on the Moon”, “Skylanders Academy” and “The Orville”.