Legendary comedian Norm Macdonald had a one-hour comedy special filmed back in the Summer of 2020 and it was kept secret before his death. But this, and Macdonald’s condition, weren’t made publicly known before his passing.
Netflix announced the release of what’s called the "Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special" show on May 30th.
Macdonald’s producing partner Lori Jo Hoekstra says in the announcement:
"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. We want to make sure his fans see this very funny hour. He left this gift for all of us."
The initial scoop comes from The Hollywood Reporter. Lori Jo Hoekstra told the outlet more details about how "Nothing Special" was made:
"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. It was his intention to have a special to share if something happened."
It was filmed the night before Macdonald went in for a medical procedure. It was done in a single take in Norm’s living room, with optimal results after the fact. The comedian was worried he wouldn’t make it through the operation.
But he did. So the footage was put into storage.
Roughly a year later, Macdonald’s health took a serious decline. "He ended up getting sicker last August and September, and he remembered he had shot this and asked me to find it so he could watch it," Jo Hoekstra told The Hollywood Reporter.
It was Norm himself who suggested the “Nothing Special” name for his performance.
In the final years of his life, Mr. Macdonald gave his thoughts about modern politics. He joked about being a fan of Andrew Yang because he was "a big fan of 1000 dollars. Always have been." Elsewhere, he expressed interest in talking with Dr. Jordan Peterson on his podcast. Peterson commented that the two "made plans" to talk at some point before the comedian’s death.
The "Nothing Special" program will also have tributes from comedians like Adam Sandler and Dave Chappelle, who mourned their lost friend earlier this month at Netflix’s comedy festival.