‘Saturday Night Live’ Creator Lorne Michaels Remembers Norm Macdonald at 2021 Emmy Awards

by Joe Rutland

“Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels offered up a few tender words about comedian Norm Macdonald at the Emmy Awards on Sunday.

Michaels, who won an Emmy on Sunday night in Los Angeles, was asked for his thoughts about Macdonald. The Canadian-born comic, who was part of a “Saturday Night Live” ensemble, died after a nine-year battle with cancer on Sept. 14. He was 61 years old.

Take a look at Lorne Michaels talking about Norm Macdonald.

Obviously, Michaels and Macdonald had some history. Macdonald was fired from his “Weekend Update” role on “SNL” and was ousted from the late-night comedy show in 1998.

NBC West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer was behind Macdonald’s departure. He didn’t like the comedian making jokes about O.J. Simpson, a close friend of Ohlmeyer. But Norm Macdonald pointed out in interviews that Michaels always supported him during those times.

The comedian had a couple of TV series in “The Norm Show” from 1999-2001 and “A Minute with Stan Hooper” in 2003. As for talk shows, Macdonald did “Sports Show with Norm Macdonald” in 2011, “Norm Macdonald Live” from 2013-17, “Norm Macdonald Has A Show” in 2018, and “Quarantined” in 2020.

He also made numerous appearances on talk shows like “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Conan” with O’Brien as its host. Macdonald was a frequent guest on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” In fact, he was one of the last comedians to perform stand-up on Letterman’s show before he left CBS.

Many comedians and actors who worked with him have been paying tribute to Norm Macdonald since his death.

Norm Macdonald Offered Timeless Quote About Cancer Way Before He Died

Yes, Norm Macdonald did keep his cancer diagnosis private. It left many after hearing of his death to mourn the loss of such a talented guy.

Before his death, Macdonald made some very powerful statements about cancer and those that find themselves facing it.

Again, he never shared his diagnosis with the public. But in one stand-up set, Norm Macdonald delivered a joke with some deep candor.

“I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure if you die, cancer dies at the same time,” he said. Then he went on to say how words being phrased, intentionally or otherwise, strips away power from those with cancer.

Macdonald then said that those who die in a battle with cancer don’t deserve to be seen as “losers.” In the end, he said it’s actually a “draw.”

It takes people, even those with a strong sense of humor, to offer quite a different perspective when it comes to life and death. Norm Macdonald made a career out of finding laughter in the most uncomfortable circumstances. He never backed away from a joke, controversial or not.