stand-up specials

Norm Macdonald’s Final Comedy Special Coming to Netflix

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Update, Thursday, May 12 at 9:00 p.m.: A day after David Spade speculated an upcoming Norm Macdonald documentary, Netflix announced that the Macdonald’s test footage will be released as a comedy special at the end of the month. Performed alone in his home, Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special was filmed in 2020 in one take during the pandemic. The Norm Macdonald tribute filmed earlier this month at Netflix Is A Joke fest will accompany the special as a featurette with Adam Sandler, Conan O’Brien, Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, and David Spade, and Molly Shannon. “He left this gift for all of us,” said Lori Jo Hoekstra, Norm’s long-time producing partner in a press release from the streamer. Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special premieres on Netflix on May 30.

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This weekend, coinciding with the Netflix Is a Joke festival, friends gathered to finally mourn Norm Macdonald. According to CTV, the memorial was held at Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre and featured remarks from Conan O’Brien, Molly Shannon, Jim Downey, and more. It also featured news that Macdonald recorded the trial run of a final stand-up special, which may make its way onto Netflix in the near future. David Spade said on his Fly on the Wall podcast with Dana Carvey that the memorial was being filmed, leading Spade to believe a documentary was in the works. “And then we were sequestered to another room, another whole building, where six of us watched his special,” Spade said. Vulture has reached out to Netflix for comment.

According to Spade, the special is just Norm seated and doing his set to no one during lockdown. “He just said ‘You know, I keep trying to do my set.’ And he was getting weaker, which we didn’t know. And they keep shutting down theaters, and they wouldn’t let him go. And then he goes, ‘I’m just gonna run it once, just kind of say it out loud,’ and then he never got to shoot it.” Spade says that Netflix decided to use the test footage as part of a documentary. “I definitely cried,” Spade said, about watching his dead friend do material about his mother. Spade says it’s “classic Norm stuff,” unpolished but still very much his POV. “He was smoother than my special.”

Norm Macdonald’s Final Comedy Special Coming to Netflix