Norm MacDonald

Norman MacDonald, born on October 17, 1959, was a seasoned Canadian actor, comedian, and writer known for his style of deadpan humor and interjecting poetic, sometimes old-fashioned turns of phrase. With his trademark line “Now the fake news,” MacDonald became popular as the anchor on the “Weekend Update,” a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, a parody show on current news and events, which lasted from September 24, 1994, to December 13, 1997. His legacy is unmatched, and he is widely loved and celebrated by his colleagues and family. Join us to celebrate his special day.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Norman Gene MacDonald



Birth date:

October 17, 1959

Death date:

September 14, 2021 (age 61)

Zodiac Sign:



6' 1"

Net Worth:

$2.5 million

Norman's Social Media:


Norman Gene MacDonald was born on October 17, 1959, to Ferne (Mains) and Percy Lloyd MacDonald, who were both teachers in Quebec City, Quebec. MacDonald attended Quebec High School and later Gloucester High School in Ottawa, where he graduated two years early. He studied mathematics at Carleton University in Ottawa before dropping out. He was briefly enrolled in a journalism and broadcasting T.V. course at Algonquin’s college and worked a variety of manual labor jobs in between school periods, before going into comedy.

MacDonald’s first performances in comedy were at stand-up clubs in Ottawa, where he regularly appeared on amateur nights at Yuk Yuk’s in 1985. Six months later, he performed at the ‘Just for Laughs Comedy Festival’ in Montreal, and he was heralded by the “Montreal Gazette” as “one of this country’s hottest comics.” By 1990, he would perform as a contestant on “Star Search.” He also appeared on “Late Night with David Letterman.” MacDonald’s first work in television included writing for comedies, including “Roseanne” and “The Dennis Miller Show.” In 1993, MacDonald was hired as a writer and cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (“S.N.L.”), and also anchored the show’s “Weekend Update” segment for three and a half seasons. He moved on to write and star in “Dirty Work” and headlined his own personal sitcom, “The Norm Show” from 1999 to 2001. MacDonald was also a voice actor and provided voice acting roles for “Family Guy,” “Mike Tyson Mysteries,” “The Orville,” and the “Dr. Dolittle” films. Between 2013 and 2018, MacDonald hosted the talk shows “Norm Macdonald Live” (a video podcast) and “Norm MacDonald Has a Show” (a Netflix series), on which he interviewed comedians and other celebrities. In 2016, he authored “Based on a True Story”, a novel that presented a fictional rendition of his life. He appeared in many films and was a regular comedian panelist on talk shows, with some critics considering him the ultimate late-night comedy guest.

In 2012, MacDonald was diagnosed with leukemia, a fact not publicly disclosed. On September 14, 2021, he died of the disease at age 61. MacDonald shot a special secret stand-up performance in his living room before he died. His producing partner said MacDonald wanted to have the last appearance for his fans should his health take a turn for the worst.

Career timeline

He Makes His Comedy Debut

MacDonald debuts at stand-up clubs in Ottawa regularly appearing on amateur nights at Yuk Yuk’s.

His First Comedy Festival

MacDonald appears at the ‘Just For Laughs Comedy Festival’ in Montreal, Canada.

He Appears on T.V.

MacDonald joins the cast of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” where he does impressions of Larry King, Burt Reynolds, David Letterman, Quentin Tarantino, Charles Kuralt, and Bob Dole.

He Anchors a Spoof News Show

MacDonald anchors the segment “Weekend Update,” a spoof news section on the show’s 20th season.

MacDonald Stars in a Movie

He plays Frank in Billy Madison, a network reporter in “The People vs Larry Flynt.”

He Voices and Co-writes

MacDonald voices Lucky in “Dr. Dolittle'' and plays Mitch Weaver in “Dirty Work,” which he co-writes.

He Plays Host

Norm hosts the fourth Canadian Screen awards.

He Receives Posthumous Nominations

MacDonald is posthumously nominated on July 12 for two Primetime Emmys for his stand-up special “Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special.”

Why We Love Norm MacDonald

  1. He was hilarious

    He is remembered as genuinely funny and for his humor unique. We enjoyed his deadpan style.

  2. He was highly ranked

    “Comedy Central” named him #83 in the five-part miniseries “100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.” He was one of their most influential stars.

  3. He had a great work attitude

    He always took his role as a comedian seriously. He was also popular with his fellow cast members.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. He was widely known

    Norm MacDonald was known for his voice and film cameos.

  2. He was a contestant on “Star Search”

    MacDonald was a contestant on the international version of “Star Search'' — he was up against two other comedians from other countries, but he ended up losing.

  3. A voice actor for “Family Guy”

    MacDonald voiced the character of Death in an episode of “Family Guy.”

  4. His T.V. shows were often canceled

    MacDonald’s T.V. shows always somehow ended up getting canceled.

  5. He had an addiction

    MacDonald had a gambling addiction.

Norm MacDonald FAQs

Did Norm MacDonald enjoy reading?

He was a serious and studious reader.

Where is Norm MacDonald’s grave?

He was cremated and his ashes were given to a family or friend.

How many siblings did Norm MacDonald have?

He had two siblings, an older brother Niel and a younger brother, Leslie.

Norm MacDonald’s birthday dates

2024October 17Thursday
2025October 17Friday
2026October 17Saturday
2027October 17Sunday
2028October 17Tuesday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.