When NBC's Saturday Night Live officially announced the start date for Season 47 earlier this week, there was no way of knowing that they would also be saying goodbye to beloved SNL cast member and "Weekend Update" anchor Norm Macdonald. But that was the case earlier today when news broke that the actor, writer & comedian had died from cancer in Los Angeles at the age of 61. Within moments of the news hitting the wires, social media was flooded with shock at first, followed by loving tributes to the man many describe as "a comedian's comedian" (though we have a feeling he would have had a field day mocking the hell out of that). And while we're expecting tributes to Macdonald to continue for some time (expect something during the SNL season premiere on October 2nd), we wanted to spotlight two that stuck out to us that best exemplify his talent. First, the reaction from Saturday Night Live, where he appeared from 1993 to 1998 and was known for not just "Weekend Update" but also spot-on impersonations of Larry King, Burt Reynolds, David Letterman, Quentin Tarantino, and others. From there, Family Guy and The Orville creator Seth MacFarlane offered kind words to the man he describes as "so consistently hilarious and so generous with his personality." Macdonald voiced Death ("Death Is a Bitch" and "Don't Be a Dickens at Christmas") on the animated series and voiced the recurring character Lt. Yaphit on Hulu's sci-fi comedy-drama series (with Macdonald having completed voice work for Season 3).
"Today is a sad day. All of us here at SNL mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation. There are so many things that we'll miss about Norm – from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise. But most of all he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm," read the caption on SNL's Instagram post that also included an image of MacDonald as well as a classic clip of MacDonald as Burt Reynolds squaring off with Will Ferrell's Alex Trebek during a Jeopardy! sketch:
"To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm Macdonald. Working with him on 'Family Guy' and later on 'The Orville,' he was that rare actor who you secretly hoped would stick around and overstay his welcome after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a free laugh, and enjoy the fun of hanging with someone so consistently hilarious and so generous with his personality. There was nobody else like him, and I'm gonna miss him a lot," MacFarlane wrote in his Instagram post, sharing a look at Macdonald as well one of him "in character" on The Orville: