Macdonald, who was best known for sitting behind SNL‘s Weekend Update desk, succumbed following a private nine-year battle with cancer. Macdonald’s management firm Brillstein Entertainment shared the news with Deadline.
The comedian’s longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra was by Macdonald’s side when he died. Despite battling cancer for nearly a decade, his health struggles were kept hidden from family, friends, and fans.
A statement released by Hoekstra reads, “He was most proud of his comedy. 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 began his SNL run in 1993 and appeared as a series regular through 1998. He last stopped by Studio 8H for an appearance on the late-night sketch show in 2009. The multi-hyphenate also headlined his own half-hour comedy series Norm, which aired for three seasons from 1999 to 2001 on ABC.
Macdonald’s other TV credits include The Drew Carey Show, My Name Is Earl, Sunnyside, Girlboss, The Middle, Skylanders Academy, The Orville, and Mike Tyson Mysteries. He frequently collaborated with SNL costars like Adam Sandler among others, starring in films like Billy Madison, Doctor Dolittle, The Animal, Dirty Work, and Grown Ups.