Comedians are responding to Norm Macdonald’s tragic passing with an outpouring of love

The world of stand-up comedy is not known to be kind. Competition usually wins over comradery. But when news of beloved “Weekend Update” anchor and comedian Norm Macdonald broke yesterday, that stereotype was turned on its head, as love poured out from fellow comedians across social media.


Norm’s success was prolific to say the least. In addition to his stand-up and SNL career, MacDonald appeared in numerous films, including Grown Ups, Dr. Dolittle, Jack and Jill, Billy Madison, Funny People, Screwed, and The Animal. He also appeared in various late-night talk shows including Late Night With Conan O’Brien and Late Night with David Letterman, and even had his own sitcom, The Norm Show, as well as a talk show for one season on Netflix back in 2018.


The Norm Show (Norm) – Season 1 Episode 1 (Norm and the Prototype)

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A true comedy genius, Norm could make even the most convoluted story funny, as seen in Norm’s unforgettable “Moth Joke” with Conan O’Brien.


Norm MacDonald’s Moth Joke

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O’Brien was one of the first to react to the news of Norm’s death, praising him as “the most unique comic voice I have ever encountered” and lamenting that “I will never laugh that hard again.”

Bob Saget, who Norm famously roasted, also sent a tweet sharing how he and Norm met, “he was in my audience at 17 years old,” and went on to say ” no other voice in comedy has been as unique, brazen, brazen, dark, hilarious, and heartfelt.”

Jim Carrey, who appeared on Norm’s live show, gave heartfelt mourning, saying, “my dear friend Norm passed after a brave 10 year battle…He was one of our most precious gems…I love him.”

But the tributes don’t stop there. Comedy greats like Steve Martin, all the Seths (McFarland, Rogan, and Meyers), Adam Sandler, Patton Oswalt, Jon Stewart and even Bob Odenkirk-who had his own health scare earlier this year- all sent their praises flooding to Twitter.

This not only goes to show how far reaching and impactful Norm was as a talent, but how just one person’s individual spark can ignite the hearts and minds of many others.

Norm passed away after an undisclosed nine year battle with cancer. His longtime producing partner and friend, Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with him when he died, says “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him….He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly.”

Though Norm might have struggled in private, the comedy world is publicly coming together to acknowledge the positive impact he made in an industry that can, at its worst, be a toxic environment. The collective reaction to Norm’s passing proves that at its best, however, the stand-up community is a tight knight family of creatives who relish in each other’s successes and share in each other’s remorse. Even in a time of devastating loss, that is worth celebrating.

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