Norm Macdonald, comedian and 'Saturday Night Live' star, dead at 61

  • FILE -- Norm Macdonald appears at KAABOO 2017 in San Diego on Sept. 16, 2017. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61.

    FILE -- Norm Macdonald appears at KAABOO 2017 in San Diego on Sept. 16, 2017. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

  • FILE -- Norm Macdonald hosts the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 13, 2016. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61.

    FILE -- Norm Macdonald hosts the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 13, 2016. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61. (Peter Power/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

  • FILE -- Comedian-actor Norm Macdonald appears onstage at The 2012 Comedy Awards in New York on April 28, 2012. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61.

    FILE -- Comedian-actor Norm Macdonald appears onstage at The 2012 Comedy Awards in New York on April 28, 2012. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61.

  • FILE -- Norm MacDonald arrives at the NBC Universal Summer Press Day in Pasadena, Calif., on April 2, 2015. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61.

    FILE -- Norm MacDonald arrives at the NBC Universal Summer Press Day in Pasadena, Calif., on April 2, 2015. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

  • FILE -- Actor and comedian Norm MacDonald appears at the "Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget" in Burbank, Calif. on Aug. 3, 2008. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61.

    FILE -- Actor and comedian Norm MacDonald appears at the "Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget" in Burbank, Calif. on Aug. 3, 2008. MacDonald, a comedian and former cast member on "Saturday Night Live," died Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He was 61. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File)

  • Comedian Norm MacDonald has died at 61.

    Comedian Norm MacDonald has died at 61. Courtesy of Casey Flanigan/Comedy Central

 
 
Updated 9/14/2021 2:49 PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Comic Norm Macdonald, a former "Saturday Night Live" writer and performer who was "Weekend Update" host during the 1990s, has died.

Macdonald, who was 61, died Tuesday after a nine-year battle with cancer that he kept private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles.

 

The son of two schoolteachers raised in Quebec City, Canada, Macdonald was a standup comic and briefly a writer for the sitcom "Roseanne" when he was picked to join the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 1993.

After leaving the show in 1998, he created and starred in the comedy "The Norm Show" for ABC, playing a former NHL player kicked out of the league for gambling and tax evasion and forced into community service as a social worker.

He became known for his esoteric impressions, including Burt Reynolds, who gave Will Ferrell's Alex Trebek character grief on "Celebrity Jeopardy." He also impersonated Bob Dole, Larry King and David Letterman.

Macdonald was anchor on the "Weekend Update" desk in a prime era for news-based jokes, with Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson frequent targets.

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