Tribute to Norm MacDonald and Actor Basil Hoffman

I remember Norm asking me how to get on SNL. It was right after he said, “Why is your stomach so big?” Insulted, but going along with the “joke,” I said, “I had a baby 7 years ago.” We were standing outside The Laugh Factory. Norm was waiting for a ride because he didn’t drive. Odd. I told Norm I didn’t have any power at SNL. I’d had to fight to get airtime while I was in the cast. It’s competitive. But, I still knew the phone number and I think I called Jim Downey and told him about Norm. The next year, Norm was on SNL! I don’t know if I had anything to do with it. Norm was so unique and brilliant, everyone was “discovering” him. Earlier, I had singled him out of a bunch of tapes of comics, to do stand up in a Palm Springs Show I was hosting. They let me pick the talent. Weird Al did the music. When Norm got famous, I felt kind of proud that I had such good taste in talent.

Me and Norm did stand up a few times. I opened for him. In this pic, he was sweet enough to hold up a sign saying “hi” to my creative writing professor at Palm Beach Atlantic, Mr. Athey.

I gave Norm a big, framed photo of Elvis looking at a girl’s legs walking down a bar. I don’t know why. The photo reminded me of Norm. I told Norm that he looked like Elvis. Norm was so humble about his looks and talent.

In the photo, Elvis looks tired and alone and uninterested in the girl walking by, trying to seduce him.

Norm said a lot of bad words but he didn’t seem promiscuous. I sensed an inner morality. I like that.

Once in a green room, out of nowhere, he said, “Why didn’t we ever date?” Knowing that we never had long conversations, but quick one liners, I said, “You don’t go to church.” Norm replied, “So, that’s the dealbreaker.”

I loved how he sought truth. He wouldn’t lie about O.J. or anything, just because he was expected to. He wouldn’t be a “liberal” to help his career. He was genuine. And, he read the Bible and sought God. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 I think Norm found the Lord. How awesome is that?!

The late Basil Hoffman was such a GREAT actor. I was blessed to get to work with him on some sketches the Pasadena Tea Party produced. He was brave to be a conservative in liberal La La Land.

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