‘There was nobody quite like him. I felt privileged any time I got to be in his orbit,’ says ‘Late Late Show’ host
The beloved Canadian stand-up was perhaps best known for his work on Saturday Night Live. He died from cancer, nine years after he first received a diagnosis.
In a segment on The Late Late Show, Corden called Macdonald a unique talent and said “there was nobody quite like him”.
“Some really sad news today, we have lost an absolute comedy legend, I’m sure you will have seen this in the news today – Norm Macdonald passed away today, far too soon, far too young, after a nine-year battle with cancer,” he said.
“A battle that Norm never told anybody about. Because all Norm ever wanted to do was make us laugh and he was absolutely brilliant at it.
“There was nobody quite like him. I felt privileged any time I got to be in his orbit. He leaves us as one of the all-time great comics, perhaps the single greatest guest in the history of late-night television.”
Macdonald regularly mocked the use of the term “battle” in reference to cancer.
“In the old days, a man could just get sick and die,” he said in his 2011 special, Me Doing Standup. “Now, they have to wage a battle.”
He continued: “The reason I don’t like it is that in the old days they’d go: ‘Hey, that old man died.’ Now they say: ‘He lost his battle.’ That’s no way to end your life! What a loser that guy was, the last thing he did was lose! He was waging a brave battle, but then at the end, I guess he got kind of cowardly. The bowel cancer, it got brave. You’ve got to give it to the bowel cancer!”
You can read The Independent’s tribute to Macdonald here.