September 16, 2021
Tuesday, I got a message from my friend Garnet Fraser, a writer with the Toronto Star. The message began “I don’t know how the Norm news is hitting you…”. I knew none of this “Norm” business he mentioned, but just the one name was enough for me to google “Norm Macdonald”. And then the articles came pouring into my laptop.
It was announced that Norm Macdonald had passed away at the age of 61 after a “battle with cancer” (Norm’s words from a bit about his uncle, but yet fittingly about him). A wave hit me with every post, and this feeling that the world at this moment was now less funny. And the world knew it. Better Than Ezra posted condolences remarking that Norm’s joke about them on SNL’s “Weekend Update” was one of the best jokes he’d ever written for the segment. They were right.
Garnet warned me that I might get a call from one of the Star writers looking for comics to talk about Norm’s influence and sure enough, I got one. I talked with Donovan Vincent about my run-ins with Norm, his legendary status in the community, and what made him great, and got choked up in the process. I had a couple of sentences make their way into the article that you can read HERE.
When I started out in comedy in the year 198-none-of-your-goddamned-business I was raw, dumb, and eager. I’d watch every comic that I had the chance to. I would make sure that I saw every comic that came to town at least once so I could watch and learn. When Norm came to town, you ran to the club and cancelled your plans for every night that weekend.