Entering tonight’s America’s Got Talent finale, one of the things we wondered is if Howie Mandel would address Norm Macdonald’s death. The news was shocking and heartbreaking; Norm was one of the best comics of the past several decades — he was dark, bold, and willing to do anything and everything for the sake of a laugh.
Howie had a connection to Macdonald — both of them are from a similar generation and, in the past, Norm spoke highly of Howie’s work as a comedian. There’s nothing better than getting praise from another comedian, mostly because they understand how hard it is. They recognize how challenging the hours are and how competitive the industry can be.
Ultimately, this is why we’re thrilled that Mandel had an opportunity to say something about Norm tonight. Following a performance from comedienne Gina Brillon, he noted how they had lost one of the greats in Norm, but also noted that “laughter is the best medicine.” It gets us through hard times. Often, comedians use humor to cope with tragedy, as do many of their fans. We do think that Norm would want people to continue laughing after his death, and we’re sure that there are plenty more thoughtful, loving tributes coming to him over the next several days.
One of the last things that we will say here is simply this: Norm is one of the best late-night guests of all time. If you haven’t had a chance to watch some of his appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and a number of other shows over the years, we highly suggest that you do that. He was a comic based in unpredictability; you never quite knew what he was going to say one sentence after the next and because of this, any interview he did was a must-watch. We’re going to miss his wit, approach to the craft, and intelligence.
Of course, our thoughts and condolences continue to go out to Norm Macdonald’s friends and loved ones during this difficult time. (Photo: NBC.)