Wednesday, September 15, 2021

R.I.P. Norm MacDonald

Well this thoroughly sucks. I just heard that comedian and actor Norm MacDonald has died, at the much too young age of sixty one.

This miserable goddamned world of ours. We truly are living in the darkest timeline.

This one hit hard, as I was a fan of MacDonald and have enjoyed his work for years. His dry, deadpan humor was right up my alley, and I gotta admit he influenced my writing and delivery quite a bit. He'll definitely be missed.

The Canadian-born MacDonald began his career as a standup comedian in Ottawa in the mid 1980s. He enjoyed moderate success there, but things really took off for him when he appeared on Star Search in 1990.

After that he was hired as a writer on Roseanne in 1992. He left after one season to join Saturday Night Live.

It was on SNL that MacDonald really rose to fame, as the anchor of the Weekend Update segment. He relentlessly bashed celebrities like Michael Jackson, labeling him a pedophile, as well as OJ Simpson, who he regularly referred to as a cold-blooded murderer. 

Nervous NBC executives eventually pulled MacDonald from the anchor chair, as they worried his controversial remarks would damage the show's ratings. 

Later on MacDonald starred in a series of Celebrity Jeopardy parody sketches on SNL, in which he did a passable impression of Burt Reynolds (or "Turd Ferguson," as he called himself). Oddly enough, even though the sketches took place in the present day, MacDonald played the 1970s version of Reynolds. His impression was so much fun that I don't think anyone noticed!

Reportedly MacDonald pushes for the Jeopardy sketches solely so he could do his Burt Reynolds impression!

Most recently MacDonald worked on The Orville, where he voiced Yaphit, an alien crewmember who's an amorphous green blob.

According to Orville creator Seth MacFarlane, he cast MacDonald in the part without even auditioning him. He reportedly called MacDonald and asked, "Norm, you want to be a blob?" To which MacDonald replied, "Hell yeah, I'll be a blob." And the rest is sci-fi history!

Unfortunately, due to labor-intensive animation and rendering times, Yaphit's too expensive to include in every episode, so he only appears in a few select scenes. Pity, as MacDonald gives the character quite a bit of personality and emotion. Quite a feat for a blob that doesn't even have a face!

Jesus Christ! It just occurred to me that it's been so long since The Orville last aired (nearly TWO AND A HALF YEARS) that the goddamned cast is starting to die off!

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