A LOOK BACK: Norm Macdonald Was Fired From ‘SNL’ For Making Fun Of O.J. Simpson


Ex-NFL player and focus of the controversial “trial of the century” that centered around charges of a double homicide, O.J. Simpson died on April 10 after a year-long battle with prostate cancer. The news of his death comes about three years after comedian and former Saturday Night Live star Norm Macdonald, succumbed to his cancer battles as well at 61.

Back in the late ‘90s, Norm hosted the Weekend Update of SNL, however, he would not spare Simpson as the butt of his jokes, which made the producers mad. The late comedian would constantly make references to Simpson’s murder trial following his wife, Nicole Brown’s death. However, it was nothing funny to the show’s bosses back then.


Norm Macdonald’s joked about O.J. Simpson on ‘SNL’

Youtube video screenshot

Some of Norm’s Simspon-themed jests included: “In his book, OJ Simpson says that he would have taken a bullet or stood in front of a train for Nicole. Man, I’m gonna tell you, that is some bad luck when the one guy who would have died for you, kills you. You don’t get worse luck than that.”


RELATED: Former NFL Star & Focus Of Controversial ’90s ‘Trial Of The Century’ O. J. Simpson Dies At 76

Another went: “According to the National Transportation Safety Board, sleepy truckers are responsible for 1,000 deaths a year. In second place, OJ Simpson at two deaths a year,” and “This week at the OJ Simpson trial, the infamous bloody glove was finally introduced into evidence. And OJ didn’t help his case any by blurting out, ‘There it is, I’ve been looking all over for that thing!’”

NFL LIVE, O.J. Simpson, 1991-, ©NBC/courtesy Everett Collection

The president of NBC’s West Coast division, Don Ohlmeyer, who was Simpson’s friend, did not find Norm’s comedy anything to laugh about. In 1998, Don — who publicly supported Simpson during the famous court proceedings — removed Norm from hosting due to “declining ratings,” although neither Norm nor viewers believed that reason.

Youtube video screenshot

Shortly after getting demoted to a regular cast member, Norm was fired from the show with a public feud ensuing. Don went as far as sabotaging Norm’s effort and stopping NBC from promoting his then-upcoming movie, Dirty Work. Norm would return as a guest host the following year, and in his petty nature poked some fun about the previous ruckus. “I haven’t gotten funnier, the show has gotten really bad! So, yeah, I’m funny compared to, you know, what you’ll see later,” he quipped.

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