‘Weekend Update’ pays tribute to Norm Macdonald on ‘SNL’


“Saturday Night Live” aired a tribute to former “Weekend Update” anchor Norm Macdonald during this week’s premiere of its 47th season.

After swapping jokes as usual Saturday about the week’s biggest headlines, current “Weekend Update” hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che took a moment to honor their beloved predecessor, who died last month at age 61 after a private battle with cancer.

“It is a bittersweet night for us tonight,” Jost said at the end of the comedians’ set.

“On Sept. 14, our friend Norm Macdonald passed away,” added Che.

Hailing the revered comic as “the reason that I ever wanted to do ‘Weekend Update,’” Jost introduced a highlight reel of some of Macdonald’s best material — handpicked by the folks at “SNL” — to close out the segment.

“This is the fake news,” Macdonald quipped in a throwback clip from his “Weekend Update” tenure, which spanned 3½ seasons from 1994 to 1998.

“At the White House this week, President Clinton officially came out against same-sex marriages. What’s more, the president said he is not too crazy about opposite-sex marriages either.”

The edit even included one of the stand-up’s many jokes about the trial of former NFL running back O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted of murder in 1995. “SNL” legend has it that Macdonald was eventually fired from the show for his controversial commentary because an NBC executive was a friend of Simpson‘s.

“In a brilliant move during closing arguments, Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran put on the knit cap prosecutors say O.J. wore the night he committed the murders — although O.J. may have hurt his case when he suddenly blurted out, ‘Hey, easy with that! That’s my lucky stabbing hat,’” Macdonald joked.

“And that’s the way it is, folks. Good night.”

In another “Weekend Update” moment Saturday, fan-favorite cast member Pete Davidson wore a shirt bearing Macdonald’s likeness while appearing as a guest. Acknowledging speculation that last season might be Davidson’s last on the show, he said, “I can’t believe I”m back.”

Che, elsewhere in the segment, kept up his own streak of divisive humor over a disgraced entertainer — R&B singer R. Kelly, who was convicted this week in a sex-trafficking trial after dodging legal consequences for sexually abusing young women and girls for decades.

Other jokes took aim at current news, including Congress’ delayed infrastructure bill, President Biden’s COVID-19 booster shot, podcast host Joe Rogan and unvaccinated NBA players.

Hosted by actor Owen Wilson with musical guest Kacey Musgraves, Saturday’s premiere also gave brand-new featured player James Austin Johnson his “SNL” debut as Biden — an unusually meaty start for a rookie — during a political cold open opposite veteran cast members Cecily Strong as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Aidy Bryant as Sen. Joe Manchin, Ego Nwodim as Rep. Ilhan Omar and Melissa Villaseñor as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

According to Deadline, the Season 47 premiere of “SNL” produced low ratings consistent with its lackluster viewership during its 46th run.

The next episode of the Emmy-winning sketch comedy program, hosted by reality TV star Kim Kardashian with musical guest Halsey, airs Oct. 9 on NBC.

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