Norm Macdonald’s secret final standup special: ‘I definitely cried’


There’s one last laugh.

Norm Macdonald secretly recorded a run-through of a planned stand-up special shortly before his death — and it is coming to Netflix.

The existence of the previously unseen footage was revealed Wednesday by fellow funnyman David Spade, eight months on from the “Saturday Night Live” star’s untimely passing.

“I definitely cried,” Spade stated, saying he saw the footage alongside five of Macdonald’s closest friends following a belated memorial service in Los Angeles last weekend.

On Thursday, Netflix announced that the hour-long stand-up — titled “Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special” — will premiere May 30 on the streaming network. The show was “self-taped in the comedian’s home,” according to the streamer.

“Norm worked so hard on a new hour of material and wanted it to be seen. While this version of ‘Nothing Special’ was not originally meant to be the final product, COVID restrictions prevented him from filming in front of an audience,” said Lori Jo Hoekstra, his long-time producing partner and executive producer of the show, in a statement sent to The Post. “We want to make sure his fans see this very funny hour. He left this gift for all of us.”

The “Weekend Update” legend died last September, at the age of 61, following a nine-year battle with leukemia, which he kept secret from the public.

The death came as a shock to fans all around the world — but they will now be heartened to know that more Macdonald material was in the pipeline and will soon hit screens.

Spade (left) is pictured with Macdonald (right) and their former “Saturday Night Live” co-star, Dennis Miller (center), shortly before Macdonald’s death.
Twitter/David Spade

Spade spoke about the special during the latest episode of his “Fly on the Wall” podcast with Dana Carvey, saying Macdonald recorded the rough run-through while at home alone, as theaters were closed amid the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“He just said, ‘You know, I keep trying to do my set,’ and he was getting weaker, which we didn’t know,” Spade stated. “They keep shutting down theaters, and they wouldn’t let him go, so then he goes, ‘I’m just gonna run it once, just kind of say it out loud.’ “

The funnyman said that the jokes included in the final stand-up were “classic Norm stuff.”

Spade was among the attendees at Macdonald’s memorial service in Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre last weekend, with Bill Murray, Molly Shannon and Conan O’Brien also reported to be present at the event.

The funnyman revealed camera crews were on hand to record the memorial, prompting him to believe that a documentary about Macdonald was in the works with Netflix — where Macdonald previously hosted a talk show.

The special will include a bonus featurette with Spade, Adam Sandler, Conan O’Brien, Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, and Molly Shannon, who discussed their mutual friend in a conversation taped earlier this month during a tribute to Macdonald during “Netflix is a Joke: The Festival.”

Spade starred with Macdonald on "Saturday Night Live" during the mid-1990s, with the pair remaining firm friends in the years following.
Spade starred with Macdonald on “Saturday Night Live” during the mid-1990s, with the pair remaining firm friends in the years following.
Instagram/David Spade
Macdonald is pictured doing standup in 2017. He was secretly battling leukemia.
Macdonald is pictured doing stand-up in 2017. He was secretly battling leukemia.

Spade starred with Macdonald on “SNL” during the mid-1990s, with the pair remaining firm friends in the years following.

Macdonald — who was born in Canada — shot to fame after joining the “SNL” cast back in 1993.

The wry comedian is credited with “saving the show” during one of its “darkest periods,” and became known for his impressions of Burt Reynolds, David Letterman, Larry King and Quentin Tarantino over his five-season run.

After being fired from “SNL” in 1998, Macdonald starred in his own sitcom, “The Norm Show,” which ran for three seasons on ABC, from 1999 to 2001.

In the years following, he became known for his stand-up specials, with the New York Times describing the funnyman as a “sneaky aesthete who elevated stand-up, helping shift its cultural prestige over the past few decades into an art deserving respect.”



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