When news broke on Tuesday that Norm Macdonald had died, comedians, actors and writers took to social media to mourn and remember the life of the famed “Saturday Night Live” alum. Macdonald died of cancer at age 61 after a private struggle with the disease.
The comedian got his start in showbiz as a writer on “Roseanne” in 1992 after making rounds at comedy clubs in Canada. He joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 1993, and the next year, began his memorable stint as “Weekend Update” anchor until early 1998, when he was replaced by Colin Quinn. Macdonald was best known for his impressions of Burt Reynolds, David Letterman, Larry King and Quentin Tarantino during his five-year run on the show.
After exiting “SNL,” Macdonald created “The Norm Show” with Bruce Helford on ABC, which ran from 1999 until 2001. The comedian starred as Norm Henderson, an NHL player who is banned from the league for life because of gambling and tax evasion, so he must perform five years of community service as a social worker.
Jon Stewart recalled that Macdonald made him break while performing.
No one could make you break like Norm Macdonald. Hilarious and unique. Fuck cancer.
— Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) September 14, 2021
Patton Oswalt said the comedian was “never not 100% hilarious.”
NOOOOO GODDAMIT. Oh my God what is even happening.
Good bye, Norm. You were never not 100% hilarious. https://t.co/loW3QsEjgW
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 14, 2021
Edgar Wright said watching Macdonald appear on talk shows is “the most pleasurable” of “addictive rabbit holes you can disappear down on the internet.”
Of the many addictive rabbit holes you can disappear down on the internet, the most pleasurable is ‘Norm MacDonald chat show appearances’. Thanks for all the laughs Norm, very sorry to see you go. https://t.co/ahxZNRdJEw
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) September 14, 2021
Seth Rogen shared how much Macdonald influenced his early career.
Oh fuck. I was a huge fan of Norm Macdonald and I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting. I would stay up specifically to watch him on talk shows. He was the funniest guest of all time. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the the all time greats. RIP.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) September 14, 2021
Tim Dillon called Macdonald “one of the greatest comedians to have ever lived.”
Let me pause my meaningless online arguments to say Norm was one of the greatest comedians to have ever lived. One of the best moments of my career was when he found something I did funny. Very few comics will ever possess that level of mastery. RIP. https://t.co/VrsnVRCUZ9
— Tim Dillon (@TimJDillon) September 14, 2021
Ron Funches shared his sadness at the news.
So sad. Rest In Peace to the legend https://t.co/xc2ScbJmXk
— Ron Funches (@RonFunches) September 14, 2021
Brian Posehn credited Macdonald with “one of the hardest times [he’s] ever laughed.”
One of the hardest times I’ve ever laughed was during the Bob Saget Roast as @normmacdonald ate it on purpose, gleefully digging in on a bit that the live audience wasn’t buying. Meanwhile, the other comics and myself were in tears and in awe of one of the funniest humans ever.
— Brian Posehn (@thebrianposehn) September 14, 2021
Adam Pally posted a GIF of the late comedian in character.
— adam pally (@adampally) September 14, 2021
Jim Gaffigan praised Macdonald as “punishingly funny.”
Oh my God. We lost a legend. Norm was punishingly funny. A unique special point of view and completely organic. RIPNormMacDonald https://t.co/u3nkFjs099
— Jim Gaffigan (@JimGaffigan) September 14, 2021
Whitney Cummings shared a clip from Macdonald’s 2008 roast of Bob Saget.
Norm is the pinnacle of bravery and originality. 💔 https://t.co/UfeNoEUlUv
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) September 14, 2021
Christopher Miller shared how he knew when Macdonald was about to make a joke.
RIP to the legend Norm MacDonald. That twinkle in his eye and cockeyed smirk when he knew he was going to say something that would crack himself up, I always knew would crack me up too. pic.twitter.com/leD2VydxMJ
— Christopher Miller (@chrizmillr) September 14, 2021
Mike Birbiglia remembered being in college and seeing Macdonald perform.
RIP Norm MacDonald. I saw him perform live when I was in college. It was one of the most memorable performances I’ve ever seen. A complete mastery of standup comedy performance and an unparalleled passion for the art of writing jokes. Never met him. Love to his friends & family. https://t.co/gpWlNy2hwN
— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) September 14, 2021
Jim Carrey called Macdonald a “dear friend” and “one of our most precious gems.”
My dear friend Norm MacDonald passed after a brave 10 year battle. He was one of our most precious gems. An honest and courageous comedy genius. I love him.
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) September 14, 2021
Ike Barinholtz said how much he likes to repeat Macdonald’s jokes.
I’ve got so many laughs in my life by just repeating Norm MacDonald jokes. One of the funniest to ever do it – RIP to a king
— Ike Barinholtz (@ikebarinholtz) September 14, 2021
Gilbert Gottfried shared a photo taken at a dinner after he was a guest on one of Macdonald’s shows.
This photo was taken after I was a guest on Norm’s show. At dinner the laughs just continued nonstop. He will be missed. RIP Norm Macdonald pic.twitter.com/DToJCUBdU2
— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) September 14, 2021
Steve Martin called Macdonald “one of a kind.”
We loved Norm MacDonald. One of a kind. https://t.co/0sXoCLEtuG
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) September 14, 2021
Jay Baruchel said that “the world’s loss is Canadian heaven’s gain” and said the comedian was a hero of his.
RIP Norm Macdonald. A sincere hero of mine and boundless source of inspiration since I was a teenager. He was also that rarest of beings: a truly original artist. The world’s loss is Canadian heaven’s gain. We will never see his like again.
— Jay Baruchel 🇨🇦 (@BaruchelNDG) September 14, 2021
Ken Jeong noted that Norm Macdonald was a comedian everyone could agree on.
In such a divisive time even among comedians, we can all agree Norm MacDonald was the best. Rest In Peace.💔
— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) September 14, 2021
Justin Long shared Macdonald’s infamous “moth joke” told to Conan O’Brien.
— Justin Long (@justinlong) September 14, 2021
O’Brien said that he will “never laugh that hard again.”
I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today.
— Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien) September 14, 2021
Seth MacFarlane remembered regularly hoping Macdonald “would hang around after work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh.”
To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm MacDonald. You always hoped he would hang around after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh. So hilarious and so generous with his personality. I’m gonna miss him.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) September 14, 2021