Saturday Night Live

SNLSaturday Night Live!Velvet Jones
Wanting to increase SNLs ratings and profitability, then-NBC West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer and other executives began to actively interfere in the show, recommending that new stars such as Chris Farley and Adam Sandler be fired because Ohlmeyer did not "get" them, and critiquing the costly nature of performing the show live. The show faced increasing criticism from the press and cast, in part encouraged by the NBC executives hoping to weaken Michaels's position. Michaels received a lucrative offer to develop a Saturday night project for CBS during this time, but remained loyal to SNL.

Weekend Update

Les nouvelles SNLJane, you ignorant slutNewsBreak
Norm Macdonald, whom Chase called "the only other guy who did [the segment] funny", took over the role for Season 20. Al Franken, whose history with SNL dated back to 1975, had been lobbying to replace Nealon as Weekend Update host – and left the show after losing the anchor spot. Although Nealon no longer anchored Weekend Update, he still remained on the show until the end of Season 20. Macdonald would open each segment with "I'm Norm Macdonald, and now the fake news". Running gags by Macdonald included punchlines involving Frank Stallone and Germans loving David Hasselhoff.

Jim Downey (comedian)

Jim DowneyJames Downey
When Norm Macdonald began as Weekend Update anchor in the mid-1990s, Downey wrote exclusively for that segment of the show. Downey and Macdonald subsequently became a team, working away from the rest of the cast and crew. They were both fired from the show in 1998 at the request of NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer. Downey believes that it was a result of various jokes on Weekend Update calling O.J. Simpson a murderer; Ohlmeyer was a good friend of Simpson's. Downey returned to the show in 2000. He continued to write for the show until 2013, pausing only in 2005 to work on a novel.

Dirty Work (1998 film)

Dirty WorkDirty Work'' (1998 film)
During production, Norm MacDonald was embroiled in a feud with Don Ohlmeyer, then an executive with NBC. Ohlmeyer, a friend of O. J. Simpson, took offense at MacDonald's frequent and pointed jokes against Simpson on Weekend Update and had MacDonald fired from the position. Ohlmeyer went further and refused to sell advertising space or air commercials for Dirty Work. NBC eventually relented (Ohlmeyer was forced into retirement not long afterward) a week after the film premiered. Dirty Work was Chris Farley's last-released film appearance, filmed before his fatal drug overdose in December 1997. MGM released the film on DVD, in August 1999, and for digital rental/purchase.

Dennis Miller

The Dennis Miller ShowDennis Miller Show
The show's staff boasted a mix of past and future performers, writers, and producers of note including Mark Brazill (That '70s Show), Eddie Feldmann, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (creators of Will & Grace), Norm Macdonald, Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show), John Riggi, Kevin Rooney, Herb Sargent (Saturday Night Live), Drake Sather, and Dave Thomas (Second City TV). Miller thought there would be room for his show as its main competitors for the time slot would be The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Arsenio Hall Show and he felt they all attracted different audiences.

David Letterman

LettermanDavid M. Lettermaneponymous host
During the initial weeks of his recovery, reruns of the Late Show were shown and introduced by friends of Letterman including Norm MacDonald, Drew Barrymore, Ray Romano, Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Megan Mullally, Bill Murray, Regis Philbin, Charles Grodin, Nathan Lane, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Short, Steven Seagal, Hillary Clinton, Danny DeVito, Steve Martin, and Sarah Jessica Parker.


National Broadcasting CompanyNBC-TVNBC Television
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio and television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles (at 10 Universal City Plaza), Chicago (at the NBC Tower) and Philadelphia (at the Comcast Technology Center). The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting.

O. J. Simpson

O.J. SimpsonOJ SimpsonO.J.
Orenthal James Simpson (born July 9, 1947), nicknamed "The Juice", is an American former football running back, broadcaster, actor, advertising spokesman, and convicted felon. Once a popular figure with the U.S. public, he is most well known today for his criminal trial and acquittal for the murders of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, although Simpson was later found responsible in a civil trial for their deaths.

O. J. Simpson murder case

O.J. Simpson trialO.J. Simpson murder caseO.J. Simpson murder trial
The O. J. Simpson murder case (officially People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson) was a criminal trial held in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Former National Football League (NFL) player, broadcaster, and actor O. J. Simpson was tried on two counts of murder for the June 12, 1994 slashing deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. At 12:10 a.m. on June 13, Brown and Goldman were found stabbed to death outside her condominium in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Simpson was a person of interest in the murders.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Late NightLate Night with Conan O’BrienConan O'Brien Show
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, celebrity interviews, and musical and comedy performances. Late Night aired weeknights at 12:37 am Eastern/11:37 pm Central and 12:37 am Mountain in the United States. From 1993 until 2000, Andy Richter served as O'Brien's sidekick; following his departure, O'Brien was the show's sole featured performer. The show's house musical act was The Max Weinberg 7, led by E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg.

Late Show with David Letterman

The Late Show with David LettermanThe Late ShowLate Show
Late Show with David Letterman is an American late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS, the first iteration of the Late Show franchise. The show debuted on August 30, 1993, and was produced by Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, and CBS Television Studios. The show's music director and leader of the house band, the CBS Orchestra, was Paul Shaffer. The head writer was Matt Roberts and the announcer was originally Bill Wendell, then Alan Kalter. Of the major U.S. late-night programs, Late Show ranked second in cumulative average viewers over time and third in number of episodes over time. In most U.S. markets the show aired from 11:35 p.m. to 12:35 a.m.

American Broadcasting Company

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast radio and television networks that is a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California, on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building. The network's secondary offices, and headquarters of its news division, is in New York City, New York, at their broadcast center at 77 West 66th Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Saturday Night Live (season 23)

231997–98 seasonseason 23
Jim Downey leaves the show after Norm Macdonald was taken off Weekend Update (since Downey co-wrote Update with Macdonald). main Jim Breuer. Will Ferrell. Ana Gasteyer. Darrell Hammond. Chris Kattan. Norm Macdonald (final episode: March 14, 1998). Tim Meadows. Tracy Morgan. Cheri Oteri. Colin Quinn. Molly Shannon.

History of Saturday Night Live (1995–2000)

recast and re-branded
While the cast was, for the most part, unchanged from the previous season, Norm Macdonald's surprise firing was the source of much speculation and scrutiny from the media. Macdonald frequently targeted O. J. Simpson and his murder trial on "Weekend Update", a recurring joke that then-NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer apparently disliked. This is rumoured to be the cause of Macdonald's firing, although Ohlmeyer denied the allegations. He was replaced on Weekend Update by castmate Colin Quinn starting January 10, 1998. denotes "Weekend Update" anchor The 1998–99 season introduced new cast members Jimmy Fallon, Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz.

The Norm Show

The series starred Norm Macdonald, who created the series with Bruce Helford. The show focused on the life of Norm Henderson (Norm Macdonald), a former NHL hockey player who is banned for life from the league because of gambling and tax evasion. To avoid jail time for these crimes, Norm must perform five years of community service as a full-time social worker. Other characters in the show included fellow social workers Laurie Freeman (Laurie Metcalf), Danny Sanchez (Ian Gomez), and Danny's sometime girlfriend and former prostitute Taylor Clayton (Nikki Cox). Norm's boss on the program for the first several episodes was named Anthony Curtis (Bruce Jarchow).

Neil Macdonald

His brother is comedian/actor Norm Macdonald. He is married to Joyce Napier, a parliamentary bureau chief for CTV News. After graduating from Algonquin College in Ottawa, Macdonald worked first as a print journalist. He joined the CBC in 1988 and covered Canadian Parliament for approximately a decade. He then served for five years (1998–2003) as the network's chief Middle East correspondent. Macdonald was involved in a public dispute with Canadian media mogul Leonard Asper in 2003. Asper had accused Macdonald of being "anti-Israeli" after taking exception to some of the CBC's Middle East coverage.


ABCABC Sportssports
One notable exception was Monday Night Football, which switched to a different graphics package as part of then-new producer Don Ohlmeyer's attempt to provide some renewed vigor into those telecasts. Subsequently, ABC changed graphics packages each fall from 2002 to 2005, while ESPN's basically remained consistent. Meanwhile, Disney continued to consolidate the corporate structure of ESPN and ABC Sports. Steve Bornstein was given the title as president of both ESPN and ABC Sports in 1996. The sales, marketing, and production departments of both divisions were eventually merged.

Colin Jost

Jost names Norm Macdonald as a primary influence for his "Update" anchor work, as Macdonald's tone was the one Jost grew up with in high school. He also names Tina Fey as an influence. In addition to Weekend Update, Jost made a brief cameo appearance as Ohio Governor John Kasich in a Republican presidential debate sketch. As a stand-up comedian, Jost has appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon as well as on TBS and HBO. He was selected as a "New Face" at the Montreal Just for Laughs festival in 2009, and has since appeared at the Chicago Just for Laughs festival in 2011 and 2012 and the Montréal festival in 2010 and 2012.

The Drew Carey Show

Drew Carey ShowThe Drew Carrey ShowDrew Carey
Norm Macdonald as Simon Tate in "The Bully You Know" (Season 2, Episode 4). Henry Rollins as E-Bay Ass Kicking Guy and Amy Farrington as Bonnie in "Hickory Dickory... Double Date" (Season 8, Episode 5). Richard Chamberlain as Mr. Wick's mother, Maggie in "Curse of the Mummy" (Season 7, Episode 14) and "Look Mom, One Hand!" (Season 7, Episode 25). Gregory Jbara as Ron in "Drew and the Conspiracy" (Season 4, Episode 1) and "Golden Boy" (Season 4, Episode 3). Charles Nelson Reilly as Mr. Hathaway, Lewis's boss, in "The Salon" (Season 3) and "DrugCo" (Season 4). Joe Walsh as Ed, a guitarist (in several episodes). French Stewart as Buddy in "Drew's Best Friend" (Season 9, Episode 10).

Artie Lange

During the negotiations phase, Lange was contacted by comedian and actor Norm Macdonald, who asked him to audition for the second lead role in his comedy buddy film Dirty Work (1998), directed by Bob Saget. Macdonald had not found a suitable actor for the part until he happened to tune into an episode of Mad TV for the first time. He saw a sketch that involved Lange delivering an out of character monologue which he found funny, and noted Lange "had a melancholy about him" that reminded Macdonald of comedian John Belushi.

Announcerless game

announcerless telecastwithout announcersa novel experiment by broadcasting the game with no commentators
The two teams were playing the last game of that season for them as neither had qualified for the playoffs, and since the game was being broadcast nationally NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer decided on the idea to boost what would otherwise have been weak ratings. The Jets won a 24–17 upset victory. To replace the announcers, the network used more on-screen graphics than usual and asked the public address announcer at Miami's Orange Bowl to impart more information than he typically did. Efforts to use more sensitive microphones and pick up more sound from the field, however, did not succeed.


RosanneRoseanne (TV series)2018 revival
Original writer Norm Macdonald stated he had written for eight of the episodes. In May 2017, it was announced the series was greenlit and would air on ABC mid–season in 2018. Metcalf, Fishman, Goranson, and Chalke were all announced to return. Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, was cast as Andrea, a married woman who hires Becky to be her surrogate. Glenn Quinn, who played Becky's husband, Mark, died in December 2002 of a heroin overdose at the age of 32. On December 1, 2017, it was announced that Johnny Galecki would be reprising his role of David Healy for one episode. Production of nine new episodes began in the fall of 2017 and wrapped in mid-December.

Dr. Dolittle 3

Norm Macdonald as Lucky. Danny Bonaduce as Ranch Steer. Gary Busey as Butch. Ryan McDonell as Skip. Tara Wilson as Kiki. Chenier Hundal as Chip. Paulo Costanzo as Cogburn the Rooster. Chris Edgerly as Diamond the Horse, LP the Horse, Pig, Rattlesnake. Eli Gabay as Rodeo Bull, Rodeo Steer. Vanessa Marshall as Tan Hen, White Hen. Mark Moseley as Harry the Hawk, Patches the Horse, Ranch Steer, Rodeo Longhorns, Silver the Horse. Jenna von Oÿ as Gracie.

Frank Stallone

FrankFrank P. Stallone, Jr.Frank Stallone Jr.
In the mid-1990s, Stallone became the subject of a running gag on Saturday Night Live, during its "Weekend Update" segment hosted by Norm Macdonald. During each episode, Macdonald (at some point in the mock-newscast) would read a legitimate news headline, then would propose a question asking the cause of that news, which would always be answered by, "You guessed it—Frank Stallone." At that moment, a publicity photo of Stallone would appear on the screen. For example, Macdonald would say: "In economic news, unemployment figures rose slightly for the month of October, with declines in the Dow Jones and NASDAQ. The reason for the sudden downturn? You guessed it—Frank Stallone."


News RadioBill McNealLisa Miller
The only recurring character to appear in more than one production season is that of Jimmy's lawyer, Roger, played initially by Norm Macdonald, and later by NewsRadio writer Drake Sather, who did a vocal impersonation of Norm Macdonald. During the last season, Patrick Warburton had a recurring role as Johnny Johnson, Jimmy's nemesis and Lisa's love interest (and eventual husband). Several other actors appeared in multiple seasons playing different characters, notably Lovitz, David Cross, John Ritter, Toby Huss, Brian Posehn, David Anthony Higgins, Dave "Gruber" Allen, Wallace Langham, and Bob Odenkirk.