Norm Macdonald voiced Lieutenant Yaphit on the first two seasons of Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville. While The Orville season 3 was delayed again and again and still has yet to release, Deadline has learned that Norm Macdonald had completed his voice work for the upcoming season prior to his passing on September 14, 2021.
If you’ve briefly seen The Orville and wondering how Norm Macdonald was involved, you’ll need to remember the blob.
While there have been a number of appearances on The Orville during prior seasons, Norm Macdonald was the most common star to appear. During season 2, he even appeared in a one-off gag in live-action. While Deadline learned that his role as Lieutenant Yaphit was already recorded for The Orville season 3 and so should be part of the series, they didn’t say how the show may handle this going forward. Of course, it’s not yet really known if there will be anything after the third season. The show has suffered a lot of setbacks, so it’s possible that the third season even has a final ending already.
If there is no season four, then they won’t need to deal with the death of Norm Macdonald’s character on the show. If The Orville season 3 isn’t the end, his absence is likely to be felt.
While The Orville season 3 was picked up by Hulu after the series was cancelled on Fox, it has been a rough road. There have been multiple delays due to COVID-19. Two of the stars met on the series, fell in love, got married, and are now getting divorced. That makes for a tense situation on set for all involved. It’s unclear whether anyone on the show will want to continue after the third season finally releases. It has sounded for a while like season 4 is unlikely, but Seth MacFarlane is publicly saying that it’s still a possibility. If not, hopefully they manage to give it a fitting ending. Especially after the show loses someone like Norm Macdonald.
The Orville is a project from Seth MacFarlane, but it isn’t strictly a comedy. It’s a Star Trek-like series with an optimistic bent toward the future. MacFarlane was tired of seeing dystopian futures in the media. While there are moments of comedy, it’s an hour-long sci-fi drama series. Adding people like Norm Macdonald helped keep the comedic tone.
Fans are likely happy that Norm Macdonald still has future appearances to come on shows like The Orville season 3. His death felt sudden to many and has left his fans in shock. His name was trending after his death was announced. Social media has seen a lot of his previous appearances popping up, as fans work to remember him for what he did best. He was 61 years old and had been dealing with cancer for nine years without telling any of his fans or most of the people around him. He wanted to be remembered for the comedy he offered his audience, not as someone with cancer.