One of the icons of modern comedy has one final gift to give us—a posthumous one, at that. In a rather shocking turn of events, we’ve learned today that the great Norm Macdonald—SNL star and beloved stand-up comedian—recorded a final, secret, 60-minute comedy special to be released in the event of his death. Macdonald passed in Sept. of last year following a private, nine-year battle with cancer, which means the special will now see the light of day. In fact, it arrives on Netflix in only two weeks, on May 30, 2022. As one final joke, Macdonald reportedly titled the special Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special.
The special came about as a result of Macdonald working on material for a Netflix special, to be filmed in a traditional theater. However, when Macdonald had to go to the hospital for a procedure in 2020 and feared something might happen, he decided to film all the material he’d been working on himself, just in case. The result was a 60-minute special shot in Macdonald’s own living room, by the actor, in a single take. According to Lori Jo Hoekstra, Macdonald’s producing partner—she produced his ABC sitcom Norm and Netflix talk show Norm Macdonald Has a Show—he then instructed her to release the special “if something happened.”
The footage shot by Macdonald was then shelved after he underwent the medical procedure, but Macdonald was subsequently unable to film the traditional special in front of a full theatrical audience, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, when Macdonald became ill again in late 2021, he remembered the footage that had been shot, and watched it again before passing away, according to Hoekstra. It was then that he suggested the self-deprecating title, Nothing Special. The special will reportedly also include clips of other comedians such as Conan O’Brien, Dave Chappelle, Adam Sandler, David Letterman, Molly Shannon and David Spade eulogizing Macdonald at the recent Netflix Is a Joke Fest. We can’t wait to see what some of them such as Obrien had to say, given Macdonald’s legendary status as a late night TV guest.
“It makes me so happy that I can share it, but also so sad that we can’t share it with him,” Hoekstra said. “He didn’t do this for the shock that it exists. He shot it because he loved his material and was so proud of his material. He worked so hard and it really would’ve bothered him to have done all that work and not been able to show everybody. He did it for the stand-up. I just hope people appreciate that he did this.”
Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special hits Netflix on May 30, 2022.