The late Great Norm McDonald on his night with Bob Dylan


Norm McDonald, one of the brightest and most singular comedians of our time, passed away on September 14, 2021 after a long battle with cancer, which he kept a secret from almost everyone. He was only 61 years old.

Born in Quebec, Canada, into a “dirt poor” farming family, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1993 and anchored the “Fake News” as he called it. period, Weekend Update, from 1994 to 1997.

Norm’s favorite and most mentioned singer-songwriter was Billy Joe Shaver, the beloved father of Outlaw-era country music, who died last year in October 2020.

Norm, who named his only son Dylan, also loved the songs and glamor of Bob Dylan. Linked to the standard, in a series of 23 Twitter posts in January 2015 [see below], the remarkable story of having been summoned years earlier by Dylan to his Malibu home, where Norm spent the night.

Dylan’s impulse to summon Norm, who was not yet famous, was something that Norm chose to keep private, as were other details that Norm refers to but does not specify.

Norm wrote that he and Dylan have spoken on many topics, including their shared love for Billy Joe Shaver. Bob went for a vinyl copy of Shaver’s Honky Tonk Hero, that they listened reverently, without speaking.

Norm also mentioned Dylan’s distinction between real writers and “stenographers”.

Norm McDonald as Dylan

Norm is unique in being the only SNL cast member to be fired and relieved of his Weekend Update anchor seat because, as he told David Letterman on The Late Show, NBC chairman Don Ohlmeyer told him he wasn’t funny.

To Letterman, Norm said that was bad news because “I have nothing to fall back on.”

The real reason seems to be his weekly comedic attacks on OJ Simpson, then on trial for murder. OJ was one of Ohlmeyer’s best friends. Warned before to stop the jokes of the Olympics, Norm has done more than ever with challenge.

Here is Dylan’s story, as posted in these Sequential Tweets, by Norm McDonald, 2015:

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