The Comedy World Reacts to Norm Macdonald's Death
Seth Rogen, Adam Sandler, Jay Baruchel, Brent Butt, Rick Mercer, Dave Foley, Jim Carrey, Jennifer Tilly and more have paid tribute
"Every one of us loved Norm. Some of the hardest laughs of my life with this man," Adam Sandler wrote in sharing a shot of the two in 1995's Billy Madison. "Most fearless funny original guy we knew. An incredible dad. A great friend. A legend. Love u pal."
Seth Rogen recalled how he "essentially ripped off [Macdonald's] delivery" when he first started acting, while Jay Baruchel called the late comedian "a sincere hero of mine and boundless source of inspiration since I was a teenager."
"Of all the comedic minds I've encountered in real life, Norm Macdonald was easily the most unique," Brent Butt wrote on Twitter. "I never knew anyone whose mind processed things the way his did. Where the rest of us couldn't see an angle, he saw the angle AND how it got bent, AND why, AND by who."
Letterkenny writer Trevor Risk shared a story about a job interview Macdonald had with The Ottawa Citizen, which he landed through brother and longtime CBC journalist Neil Macdonald. Risk writes that The Citizen "first asked Norm why he wanted to work for them, and he gave a long answer about the 'search for truth.' The next question was 'Do you have a car?' and Norm said 'I happen to believe that the truth is within walking distance of me at all times.'"
Of course, Exclaim! would be remiss to not highlight some musicians who shared memories of Macdonald. Better Than Ezra gave a nod to Macdonald's joke involving their band name on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update," while Margo Price revealed her favourite of his SNL impressions ahead of sharing how they later became mutual admirers of each other's work.
Find further tributes to Macdonald from Sarah Silverman, Edgar Wright, Rick Mercer, Dave Foley, Jim Carrey, Jennifer Tilly, David Letterman and more below.
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. pic.twitter.com/KQYuuz5eM9— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) September 14, 2021
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
Every one of us loved Norm. Some of the hardest laughs of my life with this man. Most fearless funny original guy we knew. An incredible dad. A great friend. A legend. Love u pal. pic.twitter.com/2Pftw28uPc— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) September 14, 2021
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
Very sad to hear of the passing of Norm Macdonald. He was a bold, fearless and original voice. This is a huge loss.— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) September 14, 2021
#NormMacdonald So sad to lose my talented great friend. If there is a heaven he's telling a beautiful rambling story right now....— Bruce McCulloch (@BrucioMcCulloch) September 14, 2021
The thing about Norm, is sometimes his comedy was quite obtuse. But he never explained a joke. He delighted in the fact that sometimes only one or two people knew why it was funny. #NormMacdonald— Jennifer Tilly (@JenniferTilly) September 14, 2021
We are saddened by the news of Norm Macdonald. He was a hilarious man and an absolute legend. Thankful to have been the inspiration behind one of the "Best Weekend Update Jokes of All Time," according to the internet. Rest In Peace Norm, and may your jokes live on forever. pic.twitter.com/hNwId2Zc6y— Better Than Ezra (@betterthanezra) September 14, 2021
I grew up watching Norm Macdonald on SNL and had long been a fan, his Burt Reynolds impersonation was my favorite… when I learned he was a fan of mine too, I jumped at the chance to hang with him back stage. I'm sad to hear of his passing, he very kind and funny as hell. 💛 pic.twitter.com/2y7s2P5FDs— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) 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
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
I am going to spend tonight watching and listening to Norm Macdonald. One of the funniest men ever has passed. A true original. RIP— Rick Mercer (@rickmercer) September 14, 2021
Can't believe Norm MacDonald is dead. First met him in the mid 80s. I thought he was way too funny to be successful. I was half right. My deep sympathy to his family, close friends and his fans. #ripNorm— Dave Foley (@DaveSFoley) 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
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
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
No one could make you break like Norm Macdonald. Hilarious and unique. Fuck cancer.— Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) September 14, 2021
Today the world lost a very, very funny man. We miss him already. R.I.P Norm Macdonald.— Eugene Levy (@Realeugenelevy) September 14, 2021
Battling cancer for 9 years without telling anyone is the most Norm Macdonald shit ever.— Anthony Jeselnik (@anthonyjeselnik) September 14, 2021
Of all the comedic minds I've encountered in real life, Norm Macdonald was easily the most unique. I never knew anyone whose mind processed things the way his did. Where the rest of us couldn't see an angle, he saw the angle AND how it got bent, AND why, AND by who. #RIPnorm— Brent Butt (@BrentButt) September 14, 2021
Noooo. In 1997 my first months in comedy, I saw Norm perform live in Boston. I was elated. I waited for him outside the show & asked how I could have a standup career like him. He said, "Like me? I'm on Saturday Night Live & still playing clubs. Let me know if you find out."🤣 pic.twitter.com/Fy8R6zMgyN— JEN KIRKMAN in BROOKLYN DEC 1-4 at UNION HALL (@JenKirkman) September 14, 2021
RIP to one of the best comedians Canada has ever produced, @normmacdonald. Thanks for all the laughs.— K Trevor Wilson (@KTrevorWilson) September 14, 2021
RIP Norm MacDonald pic.twitter.com/U1Li0PAo8i— Mark Critch (@markcritch) September 14, 2021
Norm was in a comedy genre of his own. No one like him on this planet. Please do yourself a favor and watch his stuff. He was one of a kind of all time— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) September 14, 2021
The next question was "Do you have a car?" and Norm said "I happen to believe that the truth is within walking distance of me at all times." /2— Trevor Risk (@SunshineSucks) September 14, 2021
Norm literally got twice as many laughs as any other comic because you knew the punchline before he said it. "Laughter is the best medicine. Unless you're diabetic... *laughter* Then... insulin. Insulin would be the best medicine." *applause*— Trevor Risk (@SunshineSucks) September 14, 2021