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The late Norm Macdonald left fans a surprise stand-up special

Former Saturday Night Live star Norm Macdonald recorded a standup comedy special in his living room before he died in the fall of 2021. The special, which is set to be released on Netflix this month, was something he wanted to leave for his fans if he were to die unexpectedly.
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: Comedian/actor Norm Macdonald performs at The Orleans Hotel & Casino July 9, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Updated May 13, 2022 at 6:21 PM ET

Actor and comedian Norm Macdonald, who was well known as a Saturday Night Live star in the 1990s, shot a secret standup performance in his living room before he died last year at 61. His producing partner said Macdonald wanted to have another appearance for his fans should his health take a turn for the worst.

Known for his sarcasm, dry humor and witty comebacks, Macdonald's work was enjoyed by millions of viewers over his nearly 30 years in comedy before he succumbed to cancer on Sept. 14, 2021.

He wanted to have one last laugh prepared for his fans in case he was unable to beat back the cancer. So, Macdonald recorded a one-hour special — done in one take — from his living room in the summer of 2020. Fans will be able to stream the comedian's standup farewell, Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special, on Netflix starting May 30.

Though Macdonald managed to film himself over an hour in a single take, he had planned on recording the special in front of a live audience in 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on his plans, Lori Jo Hoekstra, Norm's long-time producing partner and executive producer of the special, said in a Netflix statement.

"Norm worked so hard on a new hour of material and wanted it to be seen ... We want to make sure his fans see this very funny hour," Hoekstra said. "He left this gift for all of us."

The special will come hand in hand with a bonus featurette, according to the Netflix statement, with Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Adam Sandler, Molly Shannon and David Spade. The guests will share their experiences with Macdonald in a proper send-off for one of comedy's greats.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

: May 13, 2022
An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Norm Macdonald had been on Saturday Night Live for 16 years. In fact, he was a cast member from 1993-98.