TV’s late night hosts each took a moment to remember Norm Macdonald on Tuesday night, after the comedian lost his 9-year battle with cancer. Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, James Corden and Seth Meyers each praised Macdonald’s skills and shows over the years, remembering favorite bits of his and interactions they had with him.
“I do not think that Norm would want to hear anything sentimental, but I would like to say a few of my favorite things that I heard Norm say, that I was lucky enough to hear Norm say, over the years,” Meyers began in his tribute.
Meyers then recounted the very first thing he heard Macdonald say in person, shortly after Meyers started on “Saturday Night Live” in 2001. The host recalled a Macdonald visiting the set — having finished his own run on the sketch show at that point — and discussing what it was like to be a dad.
“I don’t remember how old his son was at the time, but his son was young, and someone said ‘Hey Norm, how’s being a dad?’ And he said ‘It’s going great. Still no abductions!’ That’s the first thing I ever heard him say in person,” Meyers said.
The late night host also admitted that he had to work hard to differentiate himself and his joke delivery from Macdonald on “Weekend Update.” Of course, it didn’t exactly work. As Meyers recalled, he once told Macdonald about his struggle in this area, and Macdonald comforted Seth, admitting that his son once told him “You talk like Seth Meyers!”
“He was the gold standard, and he will continue to be the gold standard,” Meyers said. You can watch his full tribute to Norm Macdonald in the video above.
Stephen Colbert recalled the single month that he wrote for “SNL” and how Macdonald took him under his wing. “I ended up writing for ‘Weekend Update’ for the whole time I was there. And he is, in my opinion, the greatest host of ‘Weekend Update’ that SNL ever had.”
Colbert also made a similar assertion to Seth Meyers, saying “I liked the fact that he would tell jokes that he, in the nicest possible way, didn’t seem to care if the audience liked them.”
Jimmy Fallon, another “SNL” alum, noted that Macdonald “changed the whole game” during his tenure behind the “Weekend Update” desk, and happily performed one of his favorite Norm Macdonald bits about buying a wiener dog.
Host James Corden allowed his colleagues to recount specific moments they had with Macdonald, having not worked with the comedian himself all that much. Still, he offered kind words for Macdonald, saying he “leaves us as one of the all-time great comics, perhaps the single greatest guest in the history of late night television.”