Following jokes about the R. Kelly trial, the Met Gala and a masturbating chimpanzee, Che and Jost devoted the final minute of the segment to vintage Macdonald clips: zingers about President Clinton’s marriage, a poorly planned airport and a French building-climber known as the “Snakeman.” But it was Macdonald’s favorite target that wrapped up the homage — a barb about O.J. Simpson.
“It is a bittersweet night for us tonight,” Jost said to introduce the tribute. “Norm is the reason that I ever wanted to do Weekend Update and so tonight we thought we’d turn the last few jokes of Update over to Norm.”
Macdonald died September 14th at age 61 after a private decade-long fight with cancer. “All of us here at SNL mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation,” SNL creator Lorne Michaels said on behalf of the show last month. “There are so many things that we’ll miss about Norm – from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise. But most of all he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.”
Owen Wilson hosted the SNL season premiere, with Kacey Musgraves as musical guest.