Following the shocking death of comedian Tuesday, who at the age of 61 after secretly living with cancer for nine years, late night hosts rightfully paid homage to the comedy legend.
On , MacDonald’s fellow alum appeared to be fighting emotion when he first spoke of Macdonald’s death, but went on to tell the first joke he ever heard Macdonald tell, a long and rambling take on dogs. also spoke about the first time he met Macdonald shortly after being hired at SNL. Fallon happened upon Macdonald having breakfast and introduced himself, excitedly telling Macdonald that he’s the best. But being that he was seated with Bob Newhart, Macdonald would not accept Fallon’s compliment.
On , following the monologue, came back from commercial break and spoke about his short time working with Macdonald at SNL. Colbert only worked there as a guest writer for a few weeks, and said that Macdonald invited him over to write with him. So Colbert spent his whole time there writing for Weekend Update, and he had some high praise for Macdonald.
“I wish I were a good enough comedian to come up with a joke right now about Norm Macdonald having died. But the only comedian I know who could get away with a ‘Norm Macdonald is dead joke,’ is Norm Macdonald,” Colbert said. “And I’m going to miss the fact that there’s nobody left on the planet who can do that, and the comedy world is poorer for it today.”
But Colbert had one joke he thought Macdonald would have appreciated.
“So, I hope somewhere up there, or wherever…” Colbert said, letting it trail off as the audience laughed. “He’d figure that joke out.”
Finally, on , , who helmed the Weekend Update desk at SNL like Fallon and Macdonald before him, told what he called his favorite Weekend Update joke of all time, saying it’s a “perfect Norm joke.”
“The richest girl in the world, billionaire Athina Onassis celebrated her 10th birthday this week,” Meyers said with a Macdonald-like cadence. “What’s it like to be the richest girl in the world? Well, to give you some idea, at the party they had two cakes.”
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on NBC.
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.
Late Night With Seth Meyers airs weeknights at 1:35 a.m. on NBC.
Watch Howie Mandel honor Norm Macdonald during the ‘AGT’ finals:
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