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Norm Macdonald dies at 61: Fellow comics recall a 'courageous comedy genius'

CNET logo CNET 9/14/2021 Richard Trenholm
Norm MacDonald with his mouth open: Norm Macdonald performing standup on Sept.16, 2017. Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images © Provided by CNET Norm Macdonald performing standup on Sept.16, 2017. Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Jim Carrey, Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien, Sarah Silverman, Steve Martin, Patton Oswalt, Seth Rogan and a host of other performers paid tribute to comedian Norm Macdonald on Tuesday following news that the SNL alum had died at age 61.  

"Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny," Conan O'Brien tweeted. "I will never laugh that hard again." Wrote Sarah Silverman, "Norm was in a comedy genre of his own. No one like him on this planet. Please do yourself a favor and watch his stuff."

Norm MacDonald with his mouth open: Norm McDonald performing stand-up in September 16, 2017. © Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Norm McDonald performing stand-up in September 16, 2017.

Macdonald had been battling cancer for nine years, according to Deadline, which earlier reported the comedian's death, citing MacDonald's management firm Brillstein Entertainment. 

Born in Quebec, the deadpan comedian and actor was, from 1993 to 1998, a cast member on Saturday Night Live, where he hosted Weekend Update segments. Fans fondly his impressions of Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, David Letterman, Larry King, Quentin Tarantino, Mr. Bean, Rod Serling and former US Sen. Bob Dole, who paid his respects to MacDonald on Tuesday. "Norm was a great talent," Dole tweeted, "and I loved laughing with him on SNL." 

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Macdonald had his own sitcom, The Norm Show, from 1999 to 2000, and more recently a Netflix series. He regularly appeared as a guest on late-night talk shows, prompting Seth Rogen to call him "the funniest guest of all time." Macdonald had been scheduled to appear at the New York Comedy Festival in November.

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