The legendary comedian and long standing member of the poker community died from cancer aged 61.

Norm Macdonald

Comedy fans got the bad news yesterday that comedian Norm Macdonald passed away this week after a nine year battle with cancer. Few people were even aware that Norm was ill. 

I say this with no hyperbole, Norm Macdonald may have been the greatest comedian of all time. He had a soft folksy charm that allowed him to deliver silly and occasionally brutal jokes others would not get away with. Norm truly did not care, if something was funny he would say it. You only have to do a search for some of the things he said about Madonna, Michael Jackson, OJ Simpson and the Clintons while he was on Saturday Night Live to see how fearless he was. 

Norm also has a special place in the hearts of poker players. A regular on the poker circuit in the US, most serious poker players in America have their own Norm story. A regular at the WSOP and studio poker shows like Poker After Dark, he also briefly was the commentator for High Stakes Poker replacing Gabe Kaplan. There were even rumours that the movie Rounders was based on Norm frequenting underground games in New York. 

One of the funniest people to ever live

Besides poker my other passion is stand-up comedy and I am a huge fan in particular of the American comedians like Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr, Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. I can say quite confidently that Norm was at least in contention for being the greatest comedian of all time and perhaps was the funniest chat show guest in the industry. 

There are too many great works of his to point you towards if you are unfamiliar with his comedy, and most of them are NSFW. I’d suggest you start with his stand-up and all the stuff that comes up on the first pages of YouTube when you search his name. After that his book Based on a True Story is one of the few books that has ever made me laugh out loud. His Bob Saget roast and attempt at a Christopher Walken impression are two of my personal favourites, and his short lived sitcom The Norm Show might be one of the most underrated shows in TV history. 

Poker has lost a great community member and the world has lost one of the funniest people to ever live. Rest in Peace Norm. 

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