The comedy world lost a legend this week with the death of Saturday Night Live star Norm Macdonald, who made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian as well as a TV and movie star. Macdonald passed away on September 14 after a nine-year battle with cancer, at the age of only 61. He cast a long shadow in the entertainment scene, so it's heartwarming but not surprising to see some of the biggest names in comedy sharing messages to honor him in the wake of his passing.
Among the comedians who took to social media with tributes to Norm Macdonald are those he shared the screen with as well as some who just wanted to credit him for inspiring them. And it's no shock that Macdonald was an inspiration within comedy, as he was notoriously unafraid to drop jokes about subjects that were otherwise considered taboo, often on the Weekend Update platform of Saturday Night Live. Adam Sandler, who worked with Macdonald on SNL, wasted no time in taking to Twitter with a message about the late comedian:
Adam Sandler crediting Norm MacDonald with some of "the hardest laughs" of his laugh is a big compliment, as Sandler has of course been incredibly successful in comedy in his own right. Sandler went for an image of MacDonald in his Weekend Update mode for Saturday Night Live as well as a shot of both of them sharing the screen in the fan-favorite comedy Billy Madison.
Seth Rogen also hit Twitter with a post that acknowledged Norm MacDonald as an all-time great in comedy, and credited him with delivering laughs as a talk show guest. MacDonald is most known for his work on stage as well as in a variety of TV shows and movies rather than talk shows, but his guest appearances there evidently affected Rogen. And considering Rogen's success, it's clear that MacDonald's influence was a positive one.
Jon Stewart, best known for his long run as host of The Daily Show, honored Norm Macdonald's ability to make others break their straight faces in a way unlike any other, and I think plenty of Macdonald's fans will second Stewart's sentiment of "Fuck Cancer." Patton Oswalt also took to Twitter with a message that plenty of people will undoubtedly be able to relate to, considering the suddenness of the news of MacDonald's death. Oswalt wrote:
NOOOOO GODDAMIT. Oh my God what is even happening. Good bye, Norm. You were never not 100% hilarious.
Conan O'Brien, who hosted Norm Macdonald a number of times on his talk show, was another to make note of the late comedian's unique ability to deliver his own brand of comedy. He shared:
Sarah Silverman had a message that not only paid tribute to Norm Macdonald, but also included some advice to others when it comes to his material, much of which is available on YouTube. Silverman said:
Steve Martin had a message that was short, but no less sweet than what others posted in the overall sentiment. If anything, his Twitter post seemingly summed up the emotional responses that many comedians were trying to convey on social media:
We loved Norm MacDonald. One of a kind.
Bob Odenkirk, who is arguably best known nowadays for his dramatic work on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, has his showbiz roots in comedy, and even worked on Saturday Night Live for a time in the late '80s and '90s. He had nothing but good things to say about Norm Macdonald, including a specific compliment for his set during the roast of Bob Saget:
Stand-up comic Tim Dillon expressed his Twitter thoughts on Norm Macdonald that prove that Macdonald was held in very high estimation for some who rank him among the best of the best in comedy history:
Let me pause my meaningless online arguments to say Norm was one of the greatest comedians to have ever lived. One of the best moments of my career was when he found something I did funny. Very few comics will ever possess that level of mastery. RIP.
Laurie Kilmartin, who is a stand-up comic who formerly wrote for Conan before that series wrapped, had her own sentiments in honor of Norm MacDonald. She even shared a personal story to prove that there were many layers to the late comedian, even beyond his legendary ability to deliver laughs.
Even Mark Hamill, who is a legend himself thanks to both Star Wars and his decades of voice acting work, hit social media to post about Norm Macdonald and admit to something that probably rings true for plenty of people: spending a lot of time watching Macdonald videos on YouTube. Here's how Hamill put it:
And Mark Hamill certainly isn't alone in admitting to sitting down for lengths of time and just watching Norm MacDonald videos, as Edgar Wright hit social media to say something similar while also expressing his sadness:
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.
Norm Macdonald is certainly gone too soon at the age of only 61, but at least it's very clear that his legacy will live on with those who knew him, appreciated his comedy, and will continue to revisit his work even now that he has passed away. Our thoughts here at CinemaBlend are with the family, friends, and loved ones of Norm Macdonald.