Comedian and Poker Fanatic Norm Macdonald Dies Aged 61
Norm Macdonald, the legendary comedian who loved poker and regularly played the WSOP, died following a decade-long battle with cancer, Joe Stapleton among those paying tribute to the much-loved funnyman.
Canadian-born Macdonald rose to fame as part of the Saturday Night Live cast in the 1990s, later having his own show and appearing in several movies and on multiple other TV shows, as well as his stand-up work.
On news of his passing, fellow comedian and actor Jim Carrey tweeted:
“He was one of our most precious gems. An honest and courageous comedy genius,” while Saturday Night Live described Norm as “one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation”.
For poker fans, he was also known for his yearly visits to Vegas for the World Series of Poker, where he cashed in events as far apart as 2007 and 2019.
In 2018 he spoke to Jeff Platt and revealed his love for the game in his own drily humorous style, including a few tips on how to deal with Hollywood home games among the rich and famous.
“They’re great, cos no-one knows how to play…and they have all this money!” he joked, though adding: “Sometimes you have to lose or they’ll stop inviting you.”
Norm also revealed that poker’s Black Friday was a good thing for him personally, explaining to PokerNews:
“Since they went offline, it kind of saved my life. Because I was just grinding out and couldn’t even sleep. The good thing about [playing online] was it was just fold, fold, fold fold, fold – it was all ABC poker.”
In that same year, 2011, Macdonald replaced Gabe Kaplan as the anchor on High Stakes Poker, working with Kara Scott on season 7 of the iconic televised poker show.
Macdonald had been diagnosed with leukemia nine years ago, keeping his battle with cancer a close-knit secret. He passed away in Los Angeles on September 14th 2021, aged 61 years.
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