One of the most popular recurring characters on Hulu's The Orville: New Horizons is the amorphous green alien Yaphit voiced by comedian Norm Macdonald. The actor, who was involved since the series' premiere on Fox in 2017, was able to record his lines before his passing in September 2021. His only appearance so far in the New Horizons era was in the season three premiere episode "Electric Sheep" when he tried to save Isaac (Mark Jackson), who committed suicide due to the relentless abuse from his crewmates, still angry over the Kaylon invasion. The episode was dedicated to Macdonald's memory. Creator and star Seth MacFarlane posted a tease on Twitter of Macdonald's return for the upcoming episode "A Tale of Two Topas" writing, "Guess who pops up on tomorrow's episode of The Orville: New Horizons! Thanks, Norm, for leaving us Yaphit. We love you and we miss you."
Norm Macdonald's History with The Orville Creator Seth MacFarlane and Yaphit's History
MacFarlane, who also worked with Macdonald on his animated comedy series Family Guy hasn't revealed anything about how much the star was involved in season three, if the character will get a proper sendoff, or recast. In previous seasons, Yaphit, who's an engineer with the ability to get into places other members of the crew can't, developed ongoing feelings for Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald) and was even able to share some moments with her. Upon Macdonald's passing, MacFarlane wrote, "To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm Macdonald. You always hoped he would hang around after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh. So hilarious and so generous with his personality. I'm gonna miss him."