Norm Macdonald Shot Netflix Special Amid Cancer Battle in Case ‘Things Went South’

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Late comedian Norm Macdonald happens to have a Netflix special coming out on May 30 titled Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special. But there’s an interesting story behind this show which the comic happened to record as his health declined. Producing partner Lori Jo Hoekstra talks about what went through his mind ahead of filming this special.

She said that his test results were not good. “So during the heart of [the] COVID-19 pandemic and literally the night before going in for a procedure, he wanted to get this on tape just in case — as he put it — things went south,” Hoekstra said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “It was his intention to have a special to share if something happened.”

Producer Says Norm Macdonald Films Special In A Single Take

Hoekstra said that Macdonald filmed this one-hour special in a single take. She also adds that the comic “looks great and the material’s fantastic.” Macdonald died on Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer. He was 61 years old. The producer also said Macdonald would start getting sicker in August and September 2021. She said that “he remembered he had shot this and asked me to find it so he could watch it. He ended up watching it before he passed away.” We get more from The Hollywood Reporter.

Hoekstra also was involved with his sitcom Norm and a Netflix talk show titled Norm Macdonald Has a Show. This special and how it came about is unique in itself. “From the various conversations I’ve had within our circle of friends in comedy and producing, no one has heard of any comparison to this [situation] — not even close,” she said. Hoekstra adds while it makes her happy to share this special, she’s sad to not be able to share it with Macdonald. Also, she says that Macdonald did not do this special for shock value. “He shot it because he loved his material and was so proud of his material.”

Comedian Said In 2016 Memoir That ‘It Is Impossible To Be Bitter’ Over ‘SNL’ Time

Back in 2016, Macdonald would share some heartbreakingly honest wisdom as part of a memoir. His words offer a perspective on his life after Macdonald’s time on Saturday Night Live. Macdonald says that he’s been lucky. “I think a lot of people feel sorry for you if you were on SNL and emerged from the show anything less than a superstar,” he writes. “They assume you must be bitter. But it is impossible to be bitter. I’ve been lucky. If I had to sum up my whole life, I guess those are the words I would choose, all right.”