Comedian Norm Macdonald died from cancer this morning at the age of 61, according to Deadline. He had been battling the disease privately for nine years. In a statement to Deadline, his producing partner Lori Jo Hoekstra — who was with him at the time of his death — told the outlet he chose to keep his health struggles private, even from family and friends. “He was most proud of his comedy,” she told the outlet. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly.”
Macdonald performed on SNL from 1993 to 1998, with a legendary run behind the Weekend Update desk. After SNL, he wrote and starred in the 1998 film Dirty Work, which featured the final performance by the late Chris Farley. He went on to star in the ABC comedy series The Norm Show from 1999 until 2001. He continued to appear in television shows and films throughout his career, and was a frequent guest on Late Night With Conan O’Brien. One of his more recent ventures was the talk show Norm Macdonald Has a Show, and he continued to perform stand-up comedy all the way up until March of 2020. He is survived by his son Dylan.