Beloved comedian performs one last stand-up set, as a gift to fans from beyond.
Some celebrities truly embrace their fans and supporters – welcoming personal interactions and the sharing of details about their life with open arms. While the famously aloof comedian Norm Macdonald may not have seemed to be that type, his final actions tell a different story.
Norm MacDonald's Life Was Not Very Public
The comedian, who really rose to fame by being the host of the popular "Weekend Update" segment on Saturday Night Live in the mid 1990's, was not known to be very open. While he was a frequent guest on late night talk shows (a favorite guest of David Letterman and Conan O'Brien), his appearances lacked the confessional approach many comedians take.
Often, Macdonald would simply take old jokes and twist them into long stories, sometimes taking an entire 5-10 minutes to arrive at a punchline. His appearances became the stuff of comedy legend, most notable for the unconventional approach he would take to his public appearances.
Fans were excited to learn that in 2016, Macdonald would publish a memoir, but even then, the comedian defied convention. The book, entitled "Based on a True Story: A Memoir" was anything but a thorough and honest autobiography. Rather, the narrative approach inculded some stories from his days on SNL and the filming of his film "Dirty Work", but otherwise was largely fictional.
These, among other reasons, are why so many fans and friends of the comedian were shocked to learn that he had prepared a very special gift for those that would miss him.
Performing Stand-up One Last Time
Macdonald passed away on September 14th, 2021, much to the surprise of friends and fans alike. His long battle with cancer was kept incredibly private, which was not necessarily odd for the comedian, but certainly odd for celebrities in general.
Friends like Adam Sandler, Dave Attell and others were completely unaware of his diagnosis or his prognosis. As he accepted that the end of his life was near, Norm Macdonald decided to do the one thing he loved more than anything, and that his loyal fans loved seeing him do: perform stand-up comedy.
How Norm MacDonald Recorded His Final Special
For Macdonald, the cancer diagnosis in 2012 greatly impacted his standup special released that year. "Me Doing Standup" was aired on Comedy Central and the material was relatively dark, even by Macdonald’s standards. The man who became ultra-famous by berating accused murderer O.J. Simpson until he was unceremoniously fired by Saturday Night Live, was known for pushing envelopes.
However, the 2012 special had a different tone. Macdonald talked at length about cancer and death, something that he almost seemed preoccupied with during the stand-up set. Most just assumed this was the comedian doing what he was famous for: taking an uncomfortable topic and forcing his audience to be acquainted with it. However, in light of his death, the reality became more clear.
After having a Netflix talkshow and a stand-up special, Macdonald was in the midst of working on new material for a third Netflix project. His frequent collaborator explains:
“His test results were not good, so during the heart of COVID-19 pandemic and literally the night before going in for a procedure, he wanted to get this on tape just in case — as he put it — things went south. It was his intention to have a special to share if something happened.”
-Lori Jo Hoekstra
When Will Norm MacDonald’s Final Stand-Up Special Air?
Netflix plans on streaming the final special recorded by the comedian on May 30th, 2022. The stand-up hour is likely a first in the world of comedy — a postmortem last joke and testament from a comic who relished defying convention. “From the various conversations I’ve had within our circle of friends in comedy and producing, no one has heard of any comparison to this [situation] — not even close,” says Hoekstra, who in addition to Nothing Special, also produced Macdonald’s ABC sitcom Norm and his Netflix talk show "Norm Macdonald Has a Show".
The program included a symposium of Macdonald's close friends in comedy, including Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, Molly Shannon, Conan O'Brien, Adam Sandler and David Spade. The comedians watched the special together and commented about it afterward.
Chappelle seemed most affected by the moment. He recounted a story about how when working on the film "'Screwed'" with Macdonald, he was suffering through the grief of the loss of his father. Chappelle commented that Norm Macdonald helped him through that hard time without really even knowing it.
How You Can Leave Final Messages For Loved Ones Using CircleIt
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Just imagine the comfort a final message from a loved one can bring during a time of grief. Much like the flowers sent by Michael Sellers to his daughter Bailey, you can be there forever for the moments that matter most. Whether you have a terminal illness like Norm Macdonald or want to be sure that your grandchildren receive a message on their wedding day, you can make it happen with CircleIt. Download it for free today from the App Store or Google Play.