Norm Macdonald Recorded One Final Stand-up Set Before His Death

By Britta DeVore | 18 seconds ago

norm macdonald

When the news of Norm Macdonald’s passing came out in September 2021, many fans were shocked and upset. The legendary comedian and SNL alum was just 61 at the time of his passing and many fans weren’t aware that he was even battling cancer in the first place. Without a real way to say goodbye; fans, old co-workers, peers, and those influenced by the late comedian weren’t fully able to gain closure. But now, it’s being reported that we may be able to bid one final adieu to the beloved performer after all.

During a tribute memorial that was held for him during the Netflix Is a Joke festival in Los Angeles, many of Norm Macdonald’s friends and fellow comedians gathered at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood to pay their final respects to a man who touched so many lives. It was there that the news was revealed that Macdonald recorded a first take of a stand-up special for Netflix which could eventually make its way onto the streamer to give fans one last bit of fresh comedy from Macdonald. 

Rumors surrounding the possible encore performance were further fueled when — during his Fly on the Wall podcast with Dana Carvey — David Spade put forth his belief that a documentary surrounding Norm Macdonald’s life was in the works. Spade says that while the friends and performers were gathered for Netflix Is a Joke, he and several others were moved to a private room to take in the final performance of Macdonald’s. The piece consists of Macdonald sitting in a room during the COVID-19 lockdown and running his set to no one. The performer wanted to make it out to a theater to do a dry run, but because of pandemic limitations, he was never able to do so. Nonetheless, a recording of Macdonald’s last bits is out there and we may be able to see them eventually.

A Canadian native, Norm Macdonald began performing his pieces in his home country, specializing in deadpan which would prove to be his strongest asset. His Hollywood career began to take shape after he knocked his performance on Star Search out of the park back in 1990. It was partially because of this that he took on a TV writing gig on The Dennis Miller Show for five seasons. He would then go on to write for Roseanne Barr’s groundbreaking sitcom, Roseanne for one season before he nabbed his part on Saturday Night Live.

norm macdonald
Norm Macdonald on Saturday Night Live

From 1993-1998, Norm Macdonald appeared on the weekly sketch show, soon solidifying himself as one of the best “Weekend Update” anchors to ever grace the show. His deadpan readings and desire to take on challenging topics — including his hot takes during the trial of O.J. Simpson when NBC executives were begging him not to do so — would help shape the role of future anchors. After he was let go from SNL, something many believe was due to his stance on Simpson’s alleged crimes, Macdonald would score his very own comedy series, Norm, where he starred alongside Roseanne alum, Laurie Metcalf. In 2018, he paired up with Netflix to bring viewers Norm Macdonald Has a Show, something we’re happy to have on the streaming platform and available on a whim. 

While many gathered that day at the Fonda Theatre to bid farewell-for-now to their friend, we as fans are happy to know that a documentary may very well be on the way. Norm Macdonald was an inspirational comedian both on and off the stage as he battled with cancer ever so privately over the years. We’re looking very forward to hearing more about the hopeful release of Macdonald’s final piece of work.