Lorne Michaels is opening up about the impact Norm Macdonald had not only on him as a trusting friend – but as a staple among the comedy and TV world.
“I think he meant the world to the people there,” the “Saturday Night Live” showrunner told reporters in a virtual pressroom after the show solidified its Emmys win for outstanding variety sketch series on Sunday.
“I can tell you from just the number of people I’ve heard from, the number of people that have gone and talked about Norm, all of us had, you know – when you work with somebody for that many years and they make you laugh and you’re aware of who they are as a person and as a friend, I think Norm was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known,” Michaels continued, before quipping, “and because he’s Canadian, I put them right there up in the top five.”
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Macdonald, who died on Tuesday at age 61 after a private battle with cancer, enjoyed a legendary career in showbiz which included a five-year run on “SNL” and he parlayed his experience into other TV and film roles including, movies like “Billy Madison” and more recently in television shows like “The Orville.”
Michaels said the standup comedian was the walking embodiment of a man with the utmost respect for his craft and the time of others.
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“It was a sort of – when he was at the show, I was always just in awe of how long he could take to tell a joke and how long he could pause before he told another joke and he let the – he never pandered, do you know what I mean?”’ Michaels said of Macdonald’s lasting legacy.
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“He never – he was always going to do it the way he wanted to do it,” he continued. “And if you waited, you were really happy you did. So I can call it integrity but integrity has probably been mentioned 50 times tonight, but he had integrity.”
After his popular run on “SNL,” Macdonald had a sitcom called “Norm” that ran from 1999-2001.
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During one memorable episode, Macdonald begins a new job and is introduced to his co-workers. Just moments later, he asks a co-worker to watch out for one of his clients as he heads out to lunch, visibly altering the clock on the wall to reflect a time much later in the day as he walks out of the office.
Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.