September 15, 2021

JIM TREACHER: Norm Macdonald, R.I.P.

Norm meant a lot to me, not just for his comedy, but for his sheer willpower. He never bent to anybody who tried to tell him what to do, even when it hurt his career. He didn’t go along to get along. I felt an affinity with him because he made it to a certain level of fame, kinda blew it, and never really reached that pinnacle again. But he just kept going, whether people dug what he was doing or not. He honed and perfected his style of humor until there was no one better, even if most people never saw it. Every once in a while he’d get his own show or something, a sitcom or a talk show or whatever. It never lasted very long, but he didn’t seem to mind too much. He would just keep writing jokes.

My successes have been much more modest than Norm’s were, but I’ve always admired him for refusing to compromise his ideals, refusing to quit.

And now, knowing Norm spent his last decade living with cancer, it’s even more remarkable. He kept his diagnosis a secret for almost 10 years, probably because he just didn’t want anybody feeling sorry for him. He was a comic, after all, and comedy relies on surprise. Norm was never one to telegraph a punchline.

Read the whole thing.

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