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‘Saturday Night Live’ premieres with ‘Weekend Update’ tribute to Norm Macdonald, Joe Biden jabs

Saturday Night Live” returned for Season 47 this week and stopped short of its usual foray into politics in order to pay tribute to former host, Norm Macdonald

The comedy world was shocked last month when it was announced that the former “Weekend Update” host had died following a secret cancer battle that he was waging for nine years. While his career spanned many movie and TV appearances as well as a successful stand-up career, he was perhaps best known for his run on “Saturday Night Live” from 1993 until 1999. 

On Saturday, current “Weekend Update” hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost concluded the segment by paying a special tribute to Macdonald and giving him the segment for one last sign-off. 

“It is a bitter-sweet night for us tonight,” Jost explained before Che noted the passing of Macdonald in September. 

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“Norm is the reason that I ever wanted to do ‘Weekend Update,’” Jost added. “So, tonight we thought we’d turn the last few jokes of ‘Weekend Update’ over to Norm.”

With that, the show played a series of clips of Macdonald behind the “Weekend Update” desk from the 1990s, starting with a joke about Bill Clinton coming out against same-sex marriage.

“The president said he is not too crazy about opposite-sex marriages either,” Macdonald joked, referencing the former president’s affair

He then touched upon plans for a San Diego airport that would be located three miles off the coast in the Pacific ocean. 

“It’s all part of a plan by city officials to have a huge disaster,” the star deadpanned. 

After a quick joke about a French man scaling a Manhattan high-rise, the final joke from Macdonald was one about the O.J. Simpson trial. The comedian noted that Simpson’s lawyer, Johnny Cochran, dramatically tried on the cap that the former football player allegedly wore during the murders.

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Macdonald joked that Simpson said at trial: “hey, hey, easy with that. That’s my lucky stabbin’ hat.” 

‘Saturday Night Live’ returned with a new ‘Weekend Update’ segment in October. 

‘Saturday Night Live’ returned with a new ‘Weekend Update’ segment in October. 
(Will Heath/NBC)

While the tribute to the late, former “Weekend Update” host was perhaps the most memorable moment of the night, Jost and Che did not shy away from politics entirely. 

When the segment began. Jost noted that last season came amid the height of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the 2020 election. This year, he joked, the most interesting story they had was the infrastructure bill, which was delayed indefinitely.  

“So, I guess we’ll just cross that bridge when it collapses on top of us,” he said

Che, meanwhile, received groans from the audience when he discussed the story of R. Kelly being found guilty in his recent sex trafficking and racketeering trial in which he was accused of courting underage girls and boys. The comedian noted that sentencing won’t happen until may.

“R. Kelly’s lawyer successfully negotiated one more school year,” Che joked. 

Overall, the hosts were relatively soft on President Biden, simply mocking his face when getting his COVID-19 jab as well as complimenting the bravery it took for someone with a stutter to name his biggest piece of legislation the tongue-twisting “Build Back Better” plan.

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