Artie Lange and Norm Macdonald's two decade long friendship explored

Olivia Olphin September 15, 2021

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News of the death of comedian Norm Macdonald was shared late last night, and fans and friends have taken to social media to share their respects for the former SNL star. One of Norm’s long-time friends and collaborators Artie Lange shared a touching tribute on Twitter. We take a closer look at their two decade long friendship.

Comedian Norm Macdonald passes away at 61

It has just been announced that Norm Macdonald has passed away after a decade long battle with cancer. The Canadian comedian is best known for appearing on the Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live.

He first started as a writer on The Dennis Miller Show and Roseanne in the early 90s. Since then Macdonald has starred in hit films such as Billy Madison, Doctor Doolittle and Dirty Work. From 1991-2001 he hosted The Norm Show and recently hosted his own Netflix programme called Norm Macdonald Has A Show in 2018.

THE MIDDLE – “Guess Who’s Coming to Frozen Dinner” – Mike’s wayward brother, Rusty (Norm Macdonald), comes to town and presents Sue with an extravagant gift, which Mike thinks is stolen goods. Meanwhile, with Sue now older and living the college life, Mike feels like he’s not as close to her as he used to be and tries to figure out a way to reconnect; Axl blows the money from his first paycheck on a big screen TV and blames his spending spree on years of learning from Frankie’s lack of financial wisdom; and Brick is stumped, but delighted to discover mysterious, unmarked gifts being left at the front door of the house, on “The Middle,” TUESDAY, FEB. 6 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EST), on The Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Television Network. (Michael Ansell via Getty Images) NORM MACDONALD, EDEN SHER

With a deadpan delivery style and incredible wit, many fans are mourning the loss of a comedy legend.

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How did Artie Lange and Norm Macdonald know each other?

Comedian and actor Artie Lange shared a touching tribute to his long-time friend Norm Macdonald after news of his passing was shared by media outlets.

The pair became close when they starred opposite each other in the 1998 film Dirty Work directed by Bob Saget. The movie followed friends Sam (Artie Lange) and Mitch (Norm Macdonald) who needed to source $50,000 in order to pay for Sam’s dad’s heart surgery.

After shooting this film together Macdonald brought Artie Lange onto the Howard Stern show, before he was a regular part of the line-up, and introduced him to Howard, and the rest is history! The pair often appeared alongside each other on the Howard Stern show in subsequent years.

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Photo by Eugene Gologursky/WireImage

Lange has credited Norm Macdonald for all of his success after leaving Mad TV. He tweeted back in 2018:

Artie Lange is a radio presenter, TV personality and comedian who was born on 11 October 1967 in Livingston, New Jersey. He is most well known for his former work on The Howard Stern Show, joining the show in 2001 and leaving in 2009. He was also as part of the original cast of sketch show Mad TV.

Tributes flood in for Norm Macdonald

Many other famous comedians have taken to social media to share touching tributes after the passing of veteran SNL comedian Norm Macdonald.

We send out our condolences to Norm Macdonald’s family during this difficult time.

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Olivia Olphin is an English Literature graduate and a film and literature fanatic. She has many years of reviewing experience, recently working as accredited press for the London Film Festival. She has also written widely about culture and sex education, as well as LGBTQ+ and women's issues.