RIP: Norm Macdonald

I was shocked and saddened to learn that after a private bout with cancer, Norm Macdonald has succumbed at the age of 61.  He has long been one of my favorite comedians, a man whose sense of irony was sharp and whose courage was legendary, having been fired from Saturday Night Live for making fun of O.J. Simpson as a killer when he knew that his boss's boss was a friend of the accused murderer.

I don't know his personal politics, but political correctness had no appeal for him.  He delighted in outraging the sensibilities of pious leftists, such as this excursion into women and comedy:

Here is Norm on white privilege:

His 1987 roast of President Clinton (to his face) at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner:

YouTube screengrab.

Update: How could I have overlooked this hilarious segment friom The View during the Clinton Administration?  Norm yanked the chains of the ladies hard, putting them on for six and a half minutes.  Norm was the cat and the ladies of The View were his ball of yarn. The lead-in scene from his sitcom of the time, Norm, displayed the behavior he inflicted on the hosts, saying the unsayable, but with a smile and those strangely engaging eyes.


YouTube screengrab

My favorite Norm Macdonald moment of all came during Dennis Miller's former syndicated talk show, when Norm did a guest appearance interview.  He and Dennis were not only colleagues at SNL, but close friends.  Norm served as a writer for Dennis's TV show.  The two men chatted, and then the program broke for commercials.  When the program resumed, Dennis took a call and got a couple of minutes into it before he realized that it was Norm on the line ("Norman from Los Angeles"), pretending to be a regular fan, and cracked up.

I will miss his wit.

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