The news of the death of stand-up comedian and legendary "Saturday Night Live" Weekend Update anchor Norm Macdonald sent shockwaves through the comic community Tuesday, with many turning to social media to mourn him.
Macdonald, who was a member of the sketch show's cast from 1993 to 1998, died after a private, yearslong battle with cancer, his producing partner and friend, Lori Jo Hoekstra, told ABC News. Macdonald was 61 years old.
"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," Hoekstra said in a statement. "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."
Others who paid tribute to the late comedian included:
I was always delighted by his bizarre mind and earnest gaze. (I'm trying to avoid using the phrase, "twinkle in his eyes"). He was a lifetime Cy Young winner in comedy. Gone, but impossible to forget.— David Letterman (@Letterman) September 14, 2021
I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I'm so sad for all of us today.— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) September 14, 2021
Jon Stewart tweeted: "No one could make you break like Norm Macdonald. Hilarious and unique. F--- cancer."
Seth Rogen tweeted: "Oh f---. I was a huge fan of Norm Macdonald and I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting. I would stay up specifically to watch him on talk shows. He was the funniest guest of all time. We lost a comedy giant today. One of the the all time greats. RIP."
This photo was taken after I was a guest on Norm's show. At dinner the laughs just continued nonstop. He will be missed. RIP Norm Macdonald pic.twitter.com/DToJCUBdU2— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) September 14, 2021
To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm MacDonald. You always hoped he would hang around after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh. So hilarious and so generous with his personality. I'm gonna miss him.— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) September 14, 2021
Devastated. Met Norm in Ottawa when he was in my audience at 17 years old. Been close for decades. We have lost a comedic genius. No other voice in comedy has been as uniquely prolific, brazen, dark, hilarious, and heartfelt. Love you forever, Norm. pic.twitter.com/V44nyouhQN— bob saget (@bobsaget) September 14, 2021
Norm is the pinnacle of bravery and originality. 💔 https://t.co/UfeNoEUlUv— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) September 14, 2021