Today is a difficult day for a lot of people and comedy fans worldwide. It marks the first official day on this planet without the presence of Norm Macdonald. Upon the news disclosing his death yesterday, it also came out that Norm faced a cancer diagnosis over the last decade that he chose to keep hidden from the public.
Fans and fellow comedians alike are posting their heartfelt tributes to the late star including the likes of Jim Carrey, Bob Saget, David Letterman, and Rob Schneider among so many others. Even those stars that aren’t too active on social media, like Adam Sandler, hopped onto Twitter to offer up their condolences. Still, before his death, Norm Macdonald made some very powerful statements about cancer and those that find themselves facing it. Keep reading to hear more about one special comedy set in particular where he describes why no one ever actually “loses” to the disease.
Norm Macdonald Didn’t Lose His Battle
Wow. Hiding a cancer diagnosis and early death prognosis for almost a full decade? People are saying that’s such a Norm Macdonald thing to do– very on-brand, as the kids would say. That certainly seems true. The actor/writer/comedian and all-around triple threat loved his craft more than anything. In fact, the star worked up until his very final moments. From the arsenal of OJ Simpson jokes to the iconic, ongoing moth joke, Macdonald knew how to elicit laughs.
He often tackled tricky subjects too that other comedians were too afraid to acknowledge. In talking to Deadline, a producing partner and good friend of his, Lori Jo Hoekstra, scaffolded on this fact. She says Norm Macdonald prioritized his career, but not at the expense of getting a cheap laugh.
“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra 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.”
In one particular set, Norm delivered a really powerful joke with a stunning level of candor. He said, “I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure if you die, cancer dies at the same time.”
He continued on to explain how certain phrasing sometimes (intentionally or otherwise) strips away power from those afflicted by cancer. So, for that reason, Norm explained that those who die in a battle with cancer don’t deserve to be seen as “losers.” In the end, it’s actually a “draw” at that point.