Norm Macdonald, the former Saturday Night Live comedian who was fired in 1998 for making an off-color joke about O.J. Simpson, returned to the show this week with a new set of jokes that caused controversy and more laughter than any other episode in recent memory.
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Norm Macdonald never hesitated away from making jokes about a broad variety of individuals, from politicians like Bob Dole and Bill Clinton to celebrities and NFL players, no matter how off-putting the jokes were. O.J. Simpson, the former football star accused of killing his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, was one of Macdonald’s favorite targets.
Despite the fact that Simpson was never found guilty, Macdonald continued to think he was guilty. But O.J. wasn’t the only one who got a laugh from the comic. In fact, there was no one Macdonald wouldn’t imitate or make a joke about.
On ‘SNL,’ Norm Macdonald became a comedic icon.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images/Norm Macdonald
Norm Macdonald died on September 14 after a secret nine-year struggle with cancer. He is best known for hosting Weekend Update, one of the most popular segments on Saturday Night Live, from 1993 until 1998.
On Saturday Night Live, Macdonald did many impressions. However, one of his most well-known, and perhaps finest, portraits was of Burt Reynolds. In “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketches, the comedian often included this persona. Will Ferrell played presenter Alex Trebek, while Macdonald’s Reynolds, also known as Turd Ferguson, wore a big yellow cowboy hat and made irrelevant and disrespectful remarks.
At the 1998 ESPY Awards, no one was immune from Norm Macdonald’s mocking.
ESPN made the fatal choice in 1998 to engage Macdonald to host the annual ESPY Awards, the Oscars of sports. So, as is his wont, Macdonald eviscerated the crowd — figuratively, of course.
And no player, team, or sport, even the NFL, was safe. Most of his jokes were warmly received, although a few drew groans and even boos.
Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was the target of his first joke. Macdonald began by stating that he had been chatting to Jones backstage and how nice a person he was, before launching into the meat of the matter: “Talking about rebuilding the team, you know.” “We have to go back to what made us a championship team: strippers and crack,” he adds.
Later, Macdonald congratulated the Denver Broncos on their Super Bowl victory against the Green Bay Packers. He claimed his favorite thing about Denver supporters is that “for one thing, they don’t wear food on their heads — that’s good,” a not-so-subtle dig at Packers fans, who are known as “Cheeseheads” because of their famous cheese hats.
Simpson was the subject of his most gruesome and disturbing joke, which he kept for last. Charles Woodson had been the first defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy in the months leading up to the 1998 ESPY Awards. “That is something that no one can ever take away from you — unless you murder your wife and a waitress, in which case all bets are off,” Macdonald said, congratulating him.
Applause and a few frowns greeted the humor.
“On that platform, only Macdonald would have been bold enough to close with an O.J. Simpson joke,” SBNation remarked, “and it was perfect.”
Ken Griffey Jr., on the other hand, didn’t seem to agree.
According to Golfweek, Macdonald was a big golf fan, especially Tiger Woods, whom the comic avoided mocking at the 1998 ESPYs for some reason. Instead, he expressed regret for the other two Golfer of the Year nominees.
Baseball and hockey were two of Macdonald’s favorite sports. Fansided told tales of his passion for the Milwaukee Brewers, including seeing Creedence Clearwater Revival singer John Fogerty at a Brewers game with veteran announcer Bob Uecker.
In addition to tributes on social media from other comedians such as Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert, sports teams and players have also paid homage to Macdonald. “Norm Macdonald loved golf nearly as much as he enjoyed making us laugh,” the official PGA Tour Twitter said. Norm, rest in peace.”
“RIP to one of my all-time favorite comedians #NormMacdonald,” tweeted Lane Johnson, right tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and fans of iconic comedian Norm Macdonald,” the official Winnipeg Jets Twitter account said. He will be sorely missed by everyone.”
Macdonald felt strongly about his battle with cancer. In a Comedy Central-produced act, he remarked, “Back in the ancient days, a guy could simply grow ill and die.” “Now they must fight a war… I’m fairly confident, although I’m not a doctor, that if you die, your cancer will die with you. That isn’t a setback. “It’s a tie.”
Norm’s cancer battle ended in a tie. Rest in peace, he was a good man.
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Norm Macdonald is a comedian who has been on television for many years. His jokes were not only hilarious, but they also caused controversy because of the topics that he covered. Reference: norm macdonald youtube.
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