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.
Macdonald was best known for starring on “Saturday Night Live” in 1993 and his anchoring “Weekend Update” until early 1998, when he was replaced by Colin Quinn. He gave dry, sardonic and memorable impressions of Burt Reynolds, David Letterman, Larry King and Quentin Tarantino and more during his five-year run on the show. During his career, he was also a writer on “Roseanne,” created “The Norm Show” with Bruce Helford on ABC and appeared in movies and shows like “Dirty Work,” “Billy Madison,” “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” “Dr. Dolittle,” “The Orville” and more.
“Saturday Night Live” shared a statement, saying, “Today is a sad day. All of us here at ‘SNL’ mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation. There are so many things that we’ll miss about Norm — from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise. But most of all he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.”
Many comedians shared personal memories of Macdonald on social media. 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
Seth MacFarlane, who created and starred in “The Orville” alongside Macdonald, wrote “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.”
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
Conan O’Brien, who had Macdonald on his talk shows many times over the years, wrote “I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedy 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.”
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
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
Senator Bob Dole, whom Macdonald impersonated on “Saturday Night Live” in the ’90s, also paid tribute to the comedian with a photo of the two of them.
— Senator Bob Dole (@SenatorDole) September 14, 2021
See more tributes below.
I was always delighted by his bizarre mind and earnest gaze. (I’m trying to avoid using the phrase, “twinkle in his eyes”). He was a lifetime Cy Young winner in comedy. Gone, but impossible to forget.
— David Letterman (@Letterman) September 14, 2021
So sad. Rest In Peace to the legend https://t.co/xc2ScbJmXk
— Ron Funches (@RonFunches) September 14, 2021
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 (@adampally) September 14, 2021
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
Norm is the pinnacle of bravery and originality. 💔 https://t.co/UfeNoEUlUv
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) September 14, 2021
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
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
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
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
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
We loved Norm MacDonald. One of a kind. https://t.co/0sXoCLEtuG
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) September 14, 2021
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
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 (@justinlong) September 14, 2021