As news spread of Macdonald’s death yesterday, it stunned his fans and even many of his friends. The 61-year-old has quietly battled cancer for the last 10 years, and chose not to make his battle a public one. That’s why so many people were left stunned as Macdonald’s passing on Tuesday made headlines across the nation.
Of course, countless thoughts and condolences were shared on social media from fans and friends alike. As every comedian’s favorite comedian, Norm Macdonald’s career and unique humor were continuously highlighted by his famous co-workers. His friend and ex-SNL member who also sat behind the news desk on “Weekend Update” Chevy Chase shared a heartbreaking but amusing tribute Wednesday morning.
“I’ve just learned that one of my sweetest, and funniest friends has died at only 61 years old, from cancer. Norm MacDonald and I have been great friends for many years now. Of course, I first met him after he played the newsman on SNL. He was the best of all! Next to myself. I know I’m just kidding now, because I’m all teared up,” Chevy Chase said of Norm Macdonald’s passing.
“Just tried calling Dylan, his son, in LA, ‘Mailbox is full.’ Of course. Poor Dylan!” he added. “What it must be like to lose such a great dad. And at such a young age, 16 years younger than me. Norm was just born when I was flunking mathematics! We made a few TV shows together, which were very very funny, if I do say so my darn self. Look ‘em up.”
Norm Macdonald Passes Away at Age 61
As mentioned before, very few people knew that Norm Macdonald faced a battle with cancer over the last decade. Yet sadly, on Tuesday, Sept. 14, the famous comedian’s longtime producing partner Lori Jo Hoekstra confirmed Macdonald’s death.
“He was most proud of his comedy,” 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.”
Hoekstra was with Macdonald as he passed on Tuesday morning. She also was able to confirm that he indeed chose to fight his battle with cancer privately, which he fought for years. But her dear friend was determined to keep his struggles to himself, she says, because he didn’t want cancer to become his lasting legacy.
Norm Macdonald has always been a unique character, one that did things his way. That’s how he lived his life until the very end.