It’s so hard to say goodbye to a comedy legend — someone who made us all laugh so hard is suddenly making us cry.
The hosts of late night had a particularly tough job on Tuesday as they mostly had to find a way to pay tribute to Norm Macdonald only hours after news of his death broke. The Saturday Night Live icon passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday at 61 years old after fighting cancer in secret for nine years.
The touching, emotional, and candid tributes came from Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, Stephen Colbert (and more), all of whom had personal connections to the jokester and whose careers were deeply inspired by his performances.
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SNL alum Seth, who followed in Norm’s footsteps on Weekend Update, spoke from the heart, saying:
“He told me once, his favorite thing about SNL is that it’s the last place on TV where you can bomb. He just didn’t care if he was bombing. If he thought the jokes were good, he had exactly as much fun telling them to a dead audience as one that appreciated them.”
Along with dubbing Macdonald “the gold standard,” Meyers added:
“You just felt this connection to him and that ability to just stare into an audience, unblinkingly telling the jokes that he believed in.”
See more of the heartfelt posts and television tributes on the “absolute comedy legend,” as Corden put it, (below):
Norm didn’t just make us laugh, he made us laugh hard. Rest well, you crazy bastard.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) September 14, 2021
I was always delighted by his bizarre mind and earnest gaze. (I’m trying to avoid using the phrase, “twinkle in his eyes”). He was a lifetime Cy Young winner in comedy. Gone, but impossible to forget.
— David Letterman (@Letterman) September 14, 2021
I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today.
— Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien) September 14, 2021
Conan isn’t on the air anymore, but his Team Coco YouTube channel was quick to post one of the all-time classic Norm moments from the original Late Night With Conan O’Brien in 1997.
Elsewhere hosts spoke about their fallen hero in their monologues:
Stephen’s tribute begins at 1:10 (below).
Jimmy discusses Norm (and does an impression) at 11:13.
Wow… The Canadian stand-up touched so many hearts. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten. R.I.P.
[Image via Team Coco/Late Night With Seth Meyers/The Late Late Show With James Corden/The Late Show With Stephen Colbert/YouTube]