Norm MacDonald’s Last Show and his Best Bits
On December 13th, 1997 Norm MacDonald unwittingly gave his last weekend update. He would be fired from the show soon after. According to ultimateclassicrock.com, soon after Norm was let go and Colin Quinn replaced him. And SNL is no stranger to controversial and seemingly random layoffs and turnover.
Norm’s jokes for Weekend Update had many references to OJ Simpson who had been acquitted of murder in 1995. These OJ jokes would continue to frequent Norm’s Weekend Update all the way up to his very last day. These jokes were biting and to the point of such a controversial trial, the trial of the century.
Norm’s firing was so sudden and shocking that Norm wasn’t even sure it actually happened. MacDonald had to call Don Ohlmeyer, NBC president, and confirm that he was fired. Don Ohlmeyer for some time, was the nemesis of Norm McDonald. Good friend to OJ Simpson, Ohlmeyer found Norm’s constant OJ jokes to not be at all funny. This animosity is part of the reason Norm was let go. But that never stopped Norm’s appeal.
“Anything that doesn’t kill you makes you very weak, it almost kills” Quote Norm MacDonald
MacDonald has always been called a comic’s comic. And that means that while Norm was not getting the big shows and the big money, he is beyond respected by all comedians. His jokes are deeper than what they appear on the surface. Norm’s timing has always been impeccable and on point. He always seemed to have built-in comedy on Conan. My favorite joke is when he asked Mackenzie Davis this seemingly random question: “Well, have you ever thrown a prostitute off a bridge?”. It still kills me to this day.
Here are some of Norm’s best bits (maybe not play them at work as there is some language)
and some of his jokes on SNL, some of which led to his firing (at the end of the segment as this was in honor of Norm)