Just hours before he began recording the September 14 episode of Late Night With Seth Meyers, longtime comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member Seth Meyers was told about the passing of his friend, actor, and comedian, Norm Macdonald.
As many other big names in Hollywood and fellow comedians around the world have done since the heartbreaking news of Macdonald’s death was released yesterday, Meyers took a moment to pay tribute to the late comedian.
“I do not think that Norm would want to hear anything sentimental,” Seth Meyers said at the start of his moving tribute Tuesday evening. “But I would like to say a few of my favorite things that I heard Norm say.”
Norm Macdonald’s Memorable First Impression
The first thing Seth Meyers recalled in his tribute to Norm Macdonald was from the first moment he met the late comedian. Back when Meyers was beginning his own stint on the long-running NBC sketch comedy series, Saturday Night Live, back in 2001.
“I don’t remember how old his son was at the time,” said Meyers in the Tuesday night tribute to Norm Macdonald.
“His son was young, and someone said ‘hey, norm, how’s being a dad?'” the longtime actor and comedian recalled.
It’s what Macdonald said next that had the comedian in stitches.
“He said, ‘it’s going great.'” Meyers recalled. “Still no abductions.”
For Meyers, it was this humor that drew him to the legendary comic from day one.
“That’s the first thing I ever heard him say in person,” the late-night talk show host said, adding that the late comedian had long been an inspiration to him as he was starting out.
A Memorable Comedian
Meyers went on to recall his favorite joke of all time from Saturday Night Live’s popular Weekend Update segment which Meyers himself had anchored for many years.
“This is my favorite Weekend Update joke of all time that I think about often,” said Meyers. “It is a perfect Norm joke.”
The host went on to tell this “perfect Norm” joke: “The richest girl in the world, Athena Onasis celebrated her tenth birthday this week,” Meyers recounted. “What’s it like to be the richest girl in the world? Well, to give you some idea, at the party they had two cakes…”
And, that’s where the joke ends. A perfect summation of Macdonald’s knack for nailing his trademark deadpan humor.
Macdonald Was Truly an Inspiration
Seth Meyers went on to recall how when he took over the Weekend Update duties on Saturday Night Live, it was hard for him to not emulate Norm Macdonald; as he delivered the comedy show’s news; since Meyer viewed Macdonald as one of the greatest comedians.
“One of the hardest parts about doing Update for me was not telling every joke the way I thought Norm would tell it,” the comedian and talk show host recalled. “Like I had to beat Norm’s delivery out of me.”
Seth Meyers remembered telling Norm Macdonald how hard this was for him to do.
And, Norm’s reaction was, of course, priceless.
“He said that I’m so glad to hear you say that,” Meyers noted.
“‘Because my son was watching you on Update and said to me ‘you talk just like Seth Meyers,'” the host continued of his conversation with Macdonald. “And he told me that when he said that, he said, ‘oh no! my son doesn’t know how time works!'”
Meyers ended his tribute to Norm Macdonald with a heartfelt statement.
“He was the gold standard, and he will continue to be the gold standard,” the late-night talk show host said.
“I would suggest that everybody go watch him tell the moth story on Conan,” Meyers closed. “Go watch any number of Norm Macdonald things tonight because they are really truly timeless.”