Comedian, SNL alum Norm Macdonald dies after battle with cancer


Actor Norm MacDonald during an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on April 21, 2008 (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty)

(NEXSTAR) – “Saturday Night Live” star Norm Macdonald has died at the age of 61, several reports say.

He was battling cancer privately for several years, TMZ and Deadline report.

“He was most proud of his comedy,” longtime friend and producing partner Lori Jo Hoekstra told Deadline. “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.”

Macdonald, who was born in Québec, Canada, was best known for his sharp observations and deadpan delivery on SNL’s “Weekend Update” during his years as a cast member from 1993 to 1998.

Of his many targets, including Marion Barry, Bill Clinton and Michael Jackson, many fans of the show remember his relentless jokes about O.J. Simpson, announcing after the former football player was acquitted, “Well, it is finally official: Murder is legal in the state of California.”

Macdonald began his career writing for the sitcom “Roseanne” and went on to star in his own comedy series, “The Norm Show,” after leaving SNL.

He also appeared in several movies, including “Billy Madison,” “Dirty Work” and “Doctor Dolittle.”

This is a developing story.

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