Norm Macdonald on various Morning Shows – Compilation
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Norman Gene “Norm” Macdonald is a Canadian stand-up comedian, writer, producer and actor. He is best known for his five seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, which included anchoring Weekend Update for three years. Early in his career, he wrote for the sitcom Roseanne and made appearances on shows including The Drew Carey Show and NewsRadio. He starred in The Norm Show from 1999 to 2001. Comedy Central named him #83 on the five-part miniseries 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time. He is noted as a favorite talk show guest of David Letterman, Howard Stern, Dennis Miller, and Conan O’Brien. His brother is Canadian journalist Neil Macdonald, of CBC News.
Macdonald was born in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. Macdonald has a brother, Neil Macdonald, who is a journalist with the CBC.
Macdonald’s first performances in comedy were at stand-up at clubs in Ottawa. He appeared at the 1987 Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.
Saturday Night Live
Macdonald joined the cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) television program in 1993, where he performed impressions of Larry King, Burt Reynolds, David Letterman, Charles Kuralt and Bob Dole, among others. Following Kevin Nealon’s departure from SNL, Macdonald anchored the segment Weekend Update. Chevy Chase, the first anchor of Weekend Update, has quipped that Macdonald was the “best Weekend Update anchor since – well – Chevy Chase”. Current Update anchor and head writer Colin Jost named Macdonald as a primary influence on Jost’s own work behind the “Update” desk, explaining that Macdonald’s tone was one that Jost grew up with in high school.
Macdonald’s version of Weekend Update often included repeated references to prison rape, crack whores and the Germans’ love of Baywatch star David Hasselhoff. Macdonald would occasionally deliver a piece of news, then take out his personal compact tape recorder and leave a “note to self” relevant to what he just discussed. He commonly used Frank Stallone as a non sequitur punchline. Macdonald repeatedly ridiculed public figures such as Marion Barry, Michael Jackson and O. J. Simpson. Throughout Simpson’s trial for murder, Macdonald constantly pilloried the former football star, often heavily implying Simpson was guilty of the brutal slaying of his wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman. In the broadcast following Simpson’s acquittal, Macdonald opened Weekend Update by saying: “Well, it is finally official: murder is legal in the state of California.”
During the February 24, 1996, episode, Macdonald made a controversial joke about the sentencing of John Lotter, one of the two men who committed the notorious murder of Brandon Teena: “In Falls City, Nebraska, John Lotter has been sentenced to death for attempting to kill three people in what prosecutors called a plot to silence a cross-dressing female who had accused him of rape. Now this might strike some viewers as harsh, but I believe everyone involved in this story deserved to die.”
After the announcement that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley planned to divorce, Macdonald joked about their irreconcilable differences on Weekend Update: “She’s more of a stay-at-home type, and he’s more of a homosexual pedophile.” He followed this up a few episodes later with a report about the singer’s collapse and hospitalization. Referring to a report of how Jackson had decorated his hospital room with giant photographs of Shirley Temple, Macdonald remarked that viewers should not get the wrong idea, adding, “Michael Jackson is a homosexual pedophile.” The joke elicited audible gasps from some audience members. He responded to this by saying, “What? He is a homosexual pedophile.”
Another uncomfortable moment occurred during the April 12, 1997, show (host Rob Lowe, musical guest The Spice Girls), wherein, during a Weekend Update story about Tabitha Soren, he accidentally coughed in the middle of a sentence and, live on the air, muttered, “What the fuck was that?” The audience applauded, and Macdonald laughed the error away (saying at one point “My fare
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