Comedian Norm Macdonald dies at 61 After Battle With Cancer

Norm Macdonald, a comedian, and the host is known as the “Weekend Update” anchor on “Saturday Night Live” from 1994 to 1998 died on Tuesday in Los Angeles, California at 61 years old. 

Norman Gene Macdonald was born on Oct. 17, 1959, in Quebec City. He started his career as a stand-up comedian in bars. Macdonald said he didn’t think of himself first as a TV performer, and he continued to work as a comedian throughout his career.

“I never wanted fame at all, I just wanted to do stand-up. I found when I came to Los Angeles to do more stand-up comedy that people wanted me to do other things, which I really didn’t want to,” he told The Ottawa Citizen in 2010. “Stand-up is an odd kind of job where, if you’re good at it, they figure you’ll be good at other stuff in show business, which is usually not the case.”

According to his longtime producing partner, cancer was the cause of his death, a cause that seemed to fly off the radar as the comedian didn’t talk about it much.

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The New York Times writes about how Macdonald’s sense of humor sometimes got him in hot water. In 2018, for instance, he drew criticism for remarks that seemed to defend the comedian Louis C.K., who had been accused of sexual misconduct, and Roseanne Barr, who was under fire for a racist Twitter post.

However, in apologizing for those comments, Mr. Macdonald made a remark that mocked people with Down syndrome.

Despite this, a great number of tributes have poured in following the death of the comedian.

The Atlantic says about his comedy, “he could take almost any material and shape it into something hilarious, a gift that some of the finest stand-ups alive, especially those who rely on more personal storytelling, don’t possess.”

Norm Macdonald is survived by his mother, a son, and two brothers.

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