Adam Sandler has paid a personal tribute to friend and former Saturday Night Live castmate Norm Macdonald following the comedian’s death.
Macdonald died on Tuesday, aged 61, nine years after being diagnosed with cancer.
Known for his dry delivery and a comedic outlook that pulled no punches, Macdonald rose to fame during a five-year stay on SNL from 1993 to 1998. That spell included a three-year stint as the host of the popular “Weekend Update” segment.
Sandler spent two years working alongside Macdonald on SNL before embarking on a successful film career, but the pair remained firm friends. Macdonald went on to appear in Sandler’s breakthrough hit Billy Madison while Sandler later returned the favor with a cameo appearance in Macdonald’s own movie, Dirty Work.
Though the later part of Macdonald’s career saw him focus on stand-up and voice acting work, he continued to make sporadic cameo appearances in Sandler’s films including roles in Funny People, Grown Ups, Jack & Jill and The Ridiculous Six.
In the wake of his passing, Sandler was among those to pay his respects to Macdonald in an emotional tweet remembering his friend.
“Every one of us loved Norm. Some of the hardest laughs of my life [were] with this man,” he wrote. “Most fearless funny original guy we knew. An incredible dad. A great friend. A legend. Love u pal.”
Lorne Michaels also paid his respects on behalf of SNL in a statement that read: “Today is a sad day. All of us here at SNL mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation.
“There are so many things that we’ll miss about Norm — from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise. But most of all he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.”
Rob Schneider, who also featured alongside Macdonald on SNL and regularly had the comedian make cameo appearances in films like Deuce Bigalow and The Animal, recalled how Macdonald often made him “cry with laughter.”
“When I think of you, my tears will run down my face with all the memories of all the laughter and all the joys that you brought to all of us,” he said on Twitter.
Another SNL castmate, Molly Shannon posted on Instagram: “Norm, may you rest in peace. You were unmistakably intelligent —your comedy and the way you cared so much about words and sentences and storytelling was like no one else.”
Bob Saget said that he was “devastated” after hearing the news.
“Met Norm in Ottawa when he was in my audience at 17 years old. Been close for decades.” he wrote on Twitter sharing a picture of them together. “We have lost a comedic genius. No other voice in comedy has been as uniquely prolific, brazen, dark, hilarious, and heartfelt. Love you forever, Norm.”
Former late-night host David Letterman, who regularly had Macdonald on as a guest, was similarly effusive in his praise of the comedian.
“In every important way, in the world of stand-up, Norm was the best. An opinion shared by me and all peers,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Always up to something, never certain, until his matter-of-fact delivery leveled you. I was always delighted by his bizarre mind and earnest gaze. (I’m trying to avoid using the phrase, ‘twinkle in his eyes’). He was a lifetime Cy Young winner in comedy. Gone, but impossible to forget.”
Countless other notable names from the world of comedy and beyond have paid tribute to Macdonald, including Jim Carrey, Steve Martin and Seth Rogen.