‘Comedy giant’ Norm Macdonald, known for his dry wit and deadpan humour, dies at 61

‘Comedy giant’ Norm Macdonald, known for his dry wit and deadpan humour, dies at 61
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The owner of Yuk Yuk’s, where Norm Macdonald got his start, says the late comedian had three qualities that made him successful at his craft.

“He was smart, honest and cutting. Three great things you want to see in a comedian,” Mark Breslin, CEO and founder of the Yuk Yuk’s standup comedy clubs said Tuesday, recalling the career of Canadian Norm Macdonald, a funnyman who died after nine years with cancer.

He was 61. His family said Norm died peacefully in hospital in Pasadena, Calif., from acute leukemia on Tuesday, an illness he was very private about.

“He was a friend too. We were pals. I lost a pal today,” Breslin said of Macdonald’s passing.

The former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, actor and voice-over personality, who was known for his deadpan style where he often milked a joke, even when no one else was laughing, was born in Quebec City.

His niece, Andrea Macdonald, a team editor on the Star’s production desk, remembers the man she fondly called “Uncle Norm.”

Once when she was a youngster, around 4 or 5 years old, visiting him in Toronto in the 1980s, (she would stay here overnight while travelling from London Ont. to the family farm in Ottawa) he took her to see the movie “The NeverEnding Story.” One scene frightened her and she had to run out of the theatre.

“He was there consoling me, but also kinda laughed with me,” she says, choking up recalling the moment. “He liked to tease me in a friendly way.”
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