The Late, Great Norm Macdonald Was Fired From SNL Because He Wouldn’t Stop Making Fun Of OJ Simpson

Norm Macdonald

Man I wish Norm Macdonald was still here to see today…

The comedian and former SNL star passed away in 2021 following a private battle with cancer. But I can’t imagine how he would have felt today after the news that OJ Simpson, former NFL running back and possible double murderer, passed away at the age of 76 following his own cancer battle.

Now, making fun of OJ isn’t exactly controversial these days: It’s widely believed that the guy got away with murder after being acquitted at his criminal trial, and he found himself in legal trouble later in life when he was arrested in 2007 for entering a Las Vegas hotel room and stealing a bunch of sports memorabilia (that he claimed had been stolen from him) at gunpoint.

Simpson was ultimately released from prison in 2017, having served nearly nine years behind bars.

So yeah, there were a lot of jokes about OJ probably not being a great person.

But back in 1998, Macdonald upset his bosses at SNL because he simply would not stop making fun of OJ Simpson.

The popular comedian served as host of the Weekend Update segment on the show, and many of his jokes were at the expense of the disgraced running back.

For example:

“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.”

Or another one of my favorites:

“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.”

Ok, one more:

“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!'”

Come on, how could you not find those funny?

Well apparently one NBC exec wasn’t amused. Don Ohlmeyer, who was president of NBC’s West Coast division, was friends with OJ and publicly supported him during the trial. And in 1998, Ohlmeyer had Norm removed as the host of “Weekend Update,” supposedly because of “declining ratings.”

Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.

Of course nobody believed that was the reason, including Norm himself, and he wasn’t exactly quiet about being demoted to a regular cast member.

Shortly after being removed as “Weekend Update” host, Norm was dismissed from SNL altogether, resulting in a public feud between the two that included Ohlmeyer banning NBC from airing trailers for Norm’s then-upcoming movie, Dirty Work.

Norm would return to SNL the following year as a guest host, but he couldn’t help but take a shot at the show that had fired him:

“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.”

Norm Macdonald…what a legend. He would have been so happy today.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock