WATCH: Norm MacDonald's Return To SNL After Being Fired Was As Awkward And Hilarious As You'd Expect
As I'm sure you're aware, we lost the great Norm MacDonald the other day, after a long, private battle with cancer. A national treasure and one of the funniest human beings ever, the tributes and memories have poured in, in the 48 hours since we got the news. And maybe no Norm story is more awesome than this one.
MacDonald pulled no punches on Saturday Night Live, while covering the OJ Simpson trial.
More, from Rolling Stone:
The O.J. jokes were a big hit with audiences, but Don Ohlmeyer, the president of NBC’s West Coast Division, removed him from the Weekend Update chair in late 1997 and replaced him with Colin Quinn. Macdonald and many others believed Ohlmeyer’s friendship with O.J. Simpson was the primary reason behind the move. “My only concern was what I thought was best for the show,” Ohlmeyer told Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller in their 2002 book Live From New York: An Uncensored Oral History of Saturday Night Live. “I might be wrong or full of shit, but it wasn’t like I had some political agenda. The O.J. Simpson thing was over by this time.”
Macdonald’s fans were incensed, but he took it surprisingly well. “I was never bitter,” he told Shales and Miller. “I always understood that Ohlmeyer could fire me because he was the guy that owned the cameras, so that didn’t bother me … I was always happy that SNL gave me a chance. Other comics, when they were young, wanted to be on Johnny Carson. To me, it was like that, you get to be on Saturday Night Live, it’s a dream come true, and then everything after that is not going to be as good. To me, just getting there was the thing.”
Here’s where it gets awkward, and awesome. Norm got fired from SNL, and a year and half later…wound up back on the set, hosting.
The monologue was one for the ages.
Norm Macdonald was warned to lay off O.J. on SNL Weekend Update cuz he was golf buddies with the president of NBC. Norm kept slamming Simpson anyway. Every. Damn. Week. And got fired for it. A year later, he was invited back to host and did the most brilliant monologue ever. #RIP pic.twitter.com/3M6wI4uI0D— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) September 14, 2021
Rest in power, Norm.