By David Bowder
NEW YORK (AP) – Comedian Norm McDonald, former “Saturday Night Live” writer and actor Bill Clinton and Oz Simpson, who hosted “Weekend Update” while delivering comic fodder in the 1990s, have died.
McDonald, 61, died Tuesday after nine years of cancer, but kept it private, according to his management company Brillstein Entertainment Partners in Los Angeles.
He did not reach the heights of the same television after his expulsion from “SNL” in 1998, but he was an inevitable stand-up comic and guest on the popular talk show, whose death was expelled from fellow actors.
Sarah Silverman tweeted, “Adarsh had a comedy genre of her own. There is no one like her on this planet. Please do her a favor and see her stuff.”
The son of two school teachers, McDonald grew up in Quebec City, Canada. He was the author of a stand-up comic and briefly the sitcom “Rosen” when he was selected to join the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 1993.
He became known for his mysterious impressions, including Bert Reynolds, who mourned the death of Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek character in “Celebrity Danger.” He disguised himself as Bob Doll, Larry King and David Letterman.
His deadpan style and skill as a writer made him love hosting “Weekend Updates”. Simpson was a favorite target. McDonald’s opened a fake newscast last week after being acquitted of murdering a former football star, saying, “Well, it’s finally official. Murder is legal in the state of California.
McDonald’s was accused in the middle of the season by NBC Entertainment executive Don Ohlmeyer, a friend of Simpson’s, of not praising the ‘SNL’ star for making Simpson a near-constant joke.
“I’ve never been bitter,” McDonald said in oral history “Live from New York,” released in 2002. I always understood that Ohlmeyer could fire me, because he was the one who owned the camera, so don’t bother me. I am always happy that ‘SNL’ has given me a chance. “
He went to Letterman’s show and announced that he had been fired. During a commercial break, Letterman asked him, “It’s like some Andy Kaufman with fake wrestling, isn’t it?” McDonald recalled. But it was not.
Letterman was a fan who made McDonald one of the guests at the CBS “Late Show” host’s final show.
In 2016, Letterman told The Washington Post that the show would have had McDonald’s every week if we could.
“He’s so funny that some people breathe in and out,” Letterman told The Post. “With others, you might say comedy, humor is considered. With softness, he dismisses it … There may be funny people as usual, but I don’t know anyone funny.
The title of the post’s story was, “Would anyone please give another show to the soft McDonald’s?”
To answer that, Netflix aired two episodes of an interview series 10 years later, “The Show at the Soft McDonald’s Has.” Guests included Letterman, Lorne Michaels, Jane Fonda and Judge Judy Shendlin.
He had limited success in other TV ventures. He created and starred on the ABC sitcom “The Soft Show,” which later became “Soft”, a former NHL player was expelled from the league for gambling and tax evasion, and forced into community service as a social worker.
A comedy central show, “Sports Show with Soft McDonald’s,” lasted only a handful of episodes, but he was busy at the comedy club.
“I think I’m just a stand-up,” he told The New York Times in 2001. But other people don’t think so. They think, ‘Oh, the SNL guy is standing-up now,’ “
Jim Carrey tweeted that McDonald’s was “an honest and courageous comedy genius.” Seth Rosen said he basically ripped off his delivery when he started acting.
“No one can break you like a soft McDonald’s,” John Stewart said on Twitter. “Ridiculous and unique.”
Andrew Dalton, an Associated Press writer in Los Angeles, and Hillel Italy in New York contributed to this report.