Before his death last September, comedian Norm Macdonald filmed one final stand-up routine alone in his living room. Streaming giant Netflix will release the posthumous special, titled Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special — a moniker the comedian chose himself — on May 30.
“Norm worked so hard on a new hour of material and wanted it to be seen. While this version of Nothing Special was not originally meant to be the final product, Covid restrictions prevented him from filming in front of an audience,” Lori Jo Hoekstra, Norm’s long-time producing partner and executive producer of the special, said in a release. “We want to make sure his fans see this very funny hour. He left this gift for all of us.” According to Netflix, Macdonald performed the entire routine in a single take.
The celebrated Saturday Night Live star died at the age of 61 after a nine-year battle with leukemia — a diagnosis he kept secret from the public. His death prompted an outpouring of tributes from his comedy peers, ranging from fellow Saturday Night Live cast members to late-night hosts.
Many of these comedians — including Adam Sandler, Conan O’Brien, Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, David Spade and Molly Shannon — will appear in a bonus featurette following Nothing Special to share their memories of Macdonald. (The roundtable discussion was filmed at the streaming platform’s recent Netflix is a Joke Fest in Los Angeles.)
Macdonald previously teamed up with Netflix for the 10-episode talk show, Norm Macdonald Has A Show, in 2018. In an interview with Rolling Stone promoting the show, the comedian candidly discussed why death was a common theme in much of his recent work. “It’s not that death gnaws at me,” he said, “it’s just that I’m not in as much denial as other people. There are things people just don’t want to hear or talk about, and one is death.”