Tributes to hugely influential comedian Norm MacDonald following death at 61

Tributes to hugely influential comedian Norm MacDonald following death at 61

CELEBRITIES AND fellow comedians have been paying tribute to stand-up comic, writer and actor Norm MacDonald, who has died at the age of 61.

The prominent comedian, best-known for his deadpan delivery of jokes, stand-up and work on Saturday Night Live and sitcoms such as Roseanne, passed away yesterday, 14 September.

He had been diagnosed with leukaemia nine years previously.

MacDonald was hugely influential in his field, and countless modern comedians point to him as one of their biggest inspirations when beginning their own career.

One such comedian is Jim Carrey, famous world-over for his own distinguished career; he paid a heartfelt tribute to MacDonald on social media, describing him as a "dear friend".

"He was one of our most precious gems," Carrey wrote. "An honest and courageous comedy genius. I love him."

A spokesperson for Saturday Night Live, where MacDonald had worked as an anchor for the Weekend Update for five years between 1993 and 1998, said it was 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."

Seth Rogan admitted he was so influenced by MacDonald that "I essentially ripped off his delivery when I first started acting.

"I would stay up specifically to watch him on talk shows. He was the funniest guest of all time.

"We lost a comedy giant today. One of the all time greats. RIP."

Comedian Jon Stewart, a long-time friend of MacDonald and who also worked on Saturday Night Live, described MacDonald as "hilarious and unique," adding simply "F*** cancer".

Conan O'Brien said he was "absolutely devastated" to hear the news of MacDonald's passing, saying he 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."

Former American basketball player and social media influencer Rex Chapman used MacDonald's own words to pay tribute to the comedian, quoting a part of a Comedy Central set about the often-used phrase 'lost their battle with cancer'.

"I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure if you die, the cancer dies at the same time. That's not a loss, that's a draw."

Seth MacFarlane, creator of cartoon sitcom Family Guy , said "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 generous with his personality. I'm gonna miss him."

Norm MacDonald's final work-- as a voice actor in The Orville created by and starring Seth MacFarlane, will release its third season later this year.