'SNL' Pays Tribute to Late 'Weekend Update' Anchor Norm Macdonald After His Death

Current Saturday Night Live star Colin Jost said that Norm Macdonald was "the reason that I ever wanted to do Weekend Update"

Saturday Night Live just paid tribute to one of their own.

During Saturday's season 47 premiere of the late-night sketch comedy series, the show honored the late Norm Macdonald, who died last month after a private nine-year battle with cancer. He was 61.

As part of the episode's Weekend Update, co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che saved the last minutes of their segment to remember the late comedian's best moments.

During the tribute, old clips of Macdonald hosting Weekend Update played, with jokes centered around former President Bill Clinton, Johnnie Cochran, and many more.

Jost, 39, even noted that the former anchor was "the reason that I ever wanted to do Weekend Update."

Macdonald was a cast member on SNL for five seasons — 1993 through 1998 — three of which he spent anchoring the Weekend Update segment.

He became well-known for his impressions of Burt Reynolds, Bob Dole, Larry King, David Letterman, and Quentin Tarantino, among others.

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Norm Macdonald Weekend Update
Norm Macdonald. Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

His departure from the NBC show in 1998 was somewhat controversial at the time, as Don Ohlmeyer, the then-president of the network's West Coast division, replaced Macdonald with Colin Quinn, citing a decline in ratings.

Macdonald, however, long maintained that his firing was due to his jabs at O.J. Simpson during the former NFL player's murder trial. James Downey, who wrote many of the jokes about Simpson, was fired at the same time and told Vulture in 2014 that they were both kicked out due to Ohlmeyer's friendship with Simpson.

After exiting SNL, Macdonald co-wrote and starred in the 1998 movie Dirty Work. The following year, he debuted his own show, titled Norm, which had a three-season run on ABC. He also made regular appearances on late-night shows, including Late Night with David Letterman and Conan.

In his 2016 memoir, Based on a True Story: A Memoir, Macdonald reflected on his career, sharing that he would describe his life as "lucky."

"I think a lot of people feel sorry for you if you were on SNL and emerged from the show anything less than a superstar. They assume you must be bitter. But it is impossible for me to be bitter," he wrote.

"I've been lucky," Macdonald continued. "If I had to sum up my whole life, I guess those are the words I would choose, all right."

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