“Well, guys, it is a bittersweet night for us tonight,” Colin Jost said. Michael Che reminded viewers that Macdonald died Sept. 14.
“Tonight, we thought we’d turn the last few jokes of ‘Update’ over to Norm,” Jost added.
“At the White House this week, President Clinton officially came out against same-sex marriages,” Macdonald said in the vintage footage. “What’s more, the president said he is not too crazy about opposite-sex marriages either.”
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Comedian Norm Macdonald died last month after a private battle with cancer, his manager Marc Gurvitz confirmed to USA TODAY. He was 61.
Macdonald is best known as a cast member on “SNL” from 1993 to 1998, and especially for his role as anchor of “Weekend Update” for three seasons. His trademark dry, sarcastic humor and gravelly voice also was featured in several sitcoms and animated series.
Macdonald was famously removed from the “Weekend Update” desk in 1998 by then-NBC chief Don Ohlmeyer, and the comedian publicly said he believed it was because Ohlmeyer didn’t like Macdonald’s jokes about O.J. Simpson, a friend of Ohlmeyer’s. Macdonald later left “SNL” altogether.
The “Saturday Night Live” season premiere also featured new cast member James Austin Johnson opening the show with his take on an exasperated President Joe Biden addressing the country about his infrastructure legislation. The late-night series also spoofed “The View” and its recent on-air COVID scare.
Owen Wilson hosted the episode with musical guest Kacey Musgraves. Next week, Kim Kardashian West hosts with musical guest Halsey, followed by Rami Malek and Young Thug, and Jason Sudeikis and Brandi Carlile the following weeks.
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Contributing: Kelly Lawler, Patrick Ryan and Gary Levin, USA TODAY