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Norm Macdonald Taped a Final Netflix Special as He Quietly Battled Cancer, 'Just in Case Things Went South'

Norm Macdonald Netflix Special

The late Norm Macdonald will deliver one final stand-up comedy set to the world, having taped a run-through of new material prior to his September 2021 passing.

During the summer of 2020, Macdonald recorded himself in his living room, doing an hour’s worth of material, before undergoing a procedure to treat the acute leukemia that he quietly lived with for nine years.

“His test results were not good, so during the heart of COVID-19 pandemic and literally the night before going in for a procedure, he wanted to get this on tape just in case — as he put it — things went south,” Lori Jo Hoekstra, Macdonald’s long-time producing partner, told our sister site The Hollywood Reporter. “It was his intention to have a special to share if something happened.”

The plan was to eventually film the routine in front of proper cameras and an audience for a Netflix special. But that was not meant to be. Instead, Netflix will release the self-tape, titled Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special‚ on Monday, May 30.

The special will also feature clips of peers such as Adam Sandler, Conan O’Brien, Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, David Spade and Molly Shannon discussing Macdonald, during the recent Netflix Is a Joke Fest.

“It makes me so happy that I can share it, but also so sad that we can’t share it with him,” Hoekstra told THR. “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.”