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Comedian Norm Macdonald’s 'Cutting Jokes' about NBC Exec Don Ohlmeyer's Friend O.J. Simpson Cost His Job in the 90s

Camila Santiago
Sep 16, 2021
10:40 A.M.
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The former SNL Norm Macdonald lost his battle with cancer. The celebrated comedian was one of the most renowned stand-up comedy names in the ‘90s and was known for his sarcastic jokes.

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The comedian Norm Macdonald was called “Mr. Wrong” by Rolling Stones Magazine in 1999 and considered the best stand-up comedian by David Letterman.

Macdonald’s unique and particular type of humor is often called ruthlessly. The comedian inspired many others that would come years later, with his unique punch lines and often, some people call, offensive jokes.

Norm MacDonald, Michael McKean as Adam West 'Batman' during "Weekend Update" on May 13, 1995. | Source: Getty Images

Norm MacDonald, Michael McKean as Adam West 'Batman' during "Weekend Update" on May 13, 1995. | Source: Getty Images

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The Quebecoise-born stand-up, actor, and writer started as a comedian in the early ‘90s but his career took off when he was assigned to anchor the “Weekend Update” in the Saturday Night Live between 1993 and 1998.

In the fictional news program, Macdonald relentlessly shocked the nation with his offensive and acid comments on current events. His most remarkable gags were during the O.J. Simpson’s murder trial -- that would later cost his job in the SNL.

Norm MacDonald during the 'Weekend Update' skit on April 12, 1997. | Source: Getty Images

Norm MacDonald during the 'Weekend Update' skit on April 12, 1997. | Source: Getty Images

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According to the SNL writer, he did around three years of sixty shows with gags including O.J. Simpson. One example is:

"A down-and-out O. J. Simpson ... has decided to go back to doing what he does best: killing people."

When Simpson was declared innocent:

“Well, it is finally official. Murder is legal in the state of California."

Comedian Norm MacDonald poses for a portrait while preparing to perform at Carolines on Broadway in Manhattan, NY, on November 13, 2015. | Source: Getty Images

Comedian Norm MacDonald poses for a portrait while preparing to perform at Carolines on Broadway in Manhattan, NY, on November 13, 2015. | Source: Getty Images

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Despite the O.J Simpson jokes being a big hit among the audience, the former NBC executive wasn’t happy with it. Don Ohlmeyer, the president of NBC’s West Coast Division removed Macdonald from his position.

Some people believe, especially the late comedian, that Ohlmeyer was friends with O.J. Simpson. The executive denied any connection with O.J., and told the authors of the “Live From New York: An Uncensored Oral History of Saturday Night Live” book that he did what he believed was the best for the show.

Norm MacDonald attends the 2015 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day held at the The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on April 02, 2015 in Pasadena, California. | Source: Getty Images

Norm MacDonald attends the 2015 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day held at the The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on April 02, 2015 in Pasadena, California. | Source: Getty Images

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After being fired from SNL, the comedian didn’t seem to bother. He shared with the authors of the same book that being there “was the thing to him,” and everything after SNL wasn’t “going to be good.”

The Canadian comedian’s first project post SNL was the movie “Dirty Work” in 1999, directed by Bob Saget. Unfortunately, the film flopped because Ohlmeyer pulled NBC ads from the movie.

The following projects were the three-season sitcom “The Norm Show,” on ABC and roles in movies like “Doctor Dolittle,” “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” as well as making appearances in TV shows.

Norm MacDonald during Comedian Norm MacDonald Performs at The Ice House at The Ice House in Pasadena, California, United States, in 2013. | Source: Getty Images

Norm MacDonald during Comedian Norm MacDonald Performs at The Ice House at The Ice House in Pasadena, California, United States, in 2013. | Source: Getty Images

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In the early 2000s, Macdonald released a sketch comedy album called “Ridiculous,” and two stand-up comedy specials. In 2018, he debuted a Netflix TV show, the “Norm Macdonald Has a Show,” which lasted only one season.

Rumors say that the show might have been canceled over #MeToo comments. He was very good friends with Louis C.K.and told The Hollywood Report:

“I’m happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a little bit.”

Norm Macdonald passed away last Tuesday, in LA.at 61 years old from cancer. The comedian left a 27-year-old son, Dylan.

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