Norm Macdonald, a comedian, actor and former cast member of Saturday Night Live, has died at age 61 after a nine-year private battle with cancer. Norm’s management firm Brillstein Entertainment confirmed the tragic news to Deadline on Sept. 14. After Norm’s passing was made public, stars like Seth Rogen and Jim Carrey paid tribute to Norm via social media and remembered him for 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.” Meanwhile, 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.”
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.
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) September 14, 2021
Jon Stewart was next to honor Norm. He said on Twitter, “No one could make you break like Norm Macdonald. Hilarious and unique. F**k cancer. Another tribute to Norm came in from Whitney Cummings, who shared a video of Norm’s iconic roast of Bob Saget. “Norm is the pinnacle of bravery and originality,” Whitney wrote.
Norm is the pinnacle of bravery and originality. 💔 https://t.co/UfeNoEUlUv
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) September 14, 2021
Josh Gad paid tribute as well, writing, “Oh come on! Damnit. Not Norm. Absolutely gutted. One of the most underrated and hilarious SNL performers. RIP.” Smallville alum Michael Rosenbaum said he was “so sad to hear about” Norm’s death, and remembered him as a “funny funny guy. he was a kind man.” Gilbert Gottfried shared a throwback photo of he, Norm and a group out to dinner, and wrote, “This photo was taken after I was a guest on Norm’s show. At dinner the laughs just continued nonstop. He will be missed. RIP Norm Macdonald.”
Meanwhile, Ken Jeong said, “In such a divisive time even among comedians, we can all agree Norm MacDonald was the best. Rest In Peace.” Steve Martin honored Norm too, writing on Twitter, “We loved Norm MacDonald. One of a kind.” HollywoodLife reached out to reps for SNL and creator Lorne Michels for comment on Norm’s death.
In such a divisive time even among comedians, we can all agree Norm MacDonald was the best. Rest In Peace.💔
— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) September 14, 2021
SNL also told HollywoodLife in a statement: “Today is a sad day. All of us here at SNL mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation. There are so many things that we’ll miss about Norm – from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise. But most of all he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.”
And later, James Corden paid tribute to the late comic during the Sept. 14 episode of his late-night talk show. “All Norm ever wanted to do was make us laugh. And he was absolutely brilliant at it. There was nobody quite like him,” James said in the video seen below.
Norm was a cast member on SNL from 1993 to 1998, and most notably anchored the Weekend Update segment for three seasons. Before joining SNL, he worked as a writer for Roseanne, but quit to join the iconic sketch comedy series. Norm eventually landed his own sitcom, The Norm Show, which ran from 1999 to 2001 on ABC. Most recently, he had his very own Netflix talk show, which was appropriately called Norm Macdonald Has a Show. He also had three comedy albums, which spanned from 2006 to 2017.
In Deadline‘s report, Norm’s longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra said that the legendary comedian had been battling cancer for almost 10 years and wanted to keep it private. “He was most proud of his comedy,” Lori, who was with Norm when he died, 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.”