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Bill Maher Almost Landed ‘SNL: Weekend Update’ — If It Weren’t For Norm Macdonald

Turns out Bill Maher almost got a back seat. Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Desk — before fame SNL Comic Norm MacDonald accepts the gig.

according to daily beastJim Downey, the former writer of NBC's hit sketch comedy series, has reunited with his old friends. SNL Screenwriter and cast member Al Franken, al franken podcast.Franken shared that he and Downey “wrote a lot of the political content together” for the show and rehashed his search for Kevin Nealon's work. weekend update Replaced in 1994.

He auditioned for a sketch and eventually revealed that MacDonald accepted it. He said he “really wanted” the role, but admitted it was “the best thing to happen to the show.”

But Downey shed a little more light on the situation, noting that there was “huge competition” between Franken and Maher before MacDonald entered the race.

of real time The host “had my backing'' [talent agent] Bernie Brillstein' was a 'very active pro-Bill and anti-Franken campaigner'.

Interestingly, Franken claimed he “knew nothing about it.” Despite this, Mr. Downey said Mr. MacDonald was “late to come on.”

“Once I found out it wasn't you, I thought maybe it would be Norm Macdonald instead of Bill Maher.” Downey told Franken that it wasn't an “anti-Bill Maher thing,” but rather that both candidates. “It was completely the norm,'' he declared.

Although McDonald was chosen, Downey said he and the cartoonist were ultimately fired for taking the O.J. Simpson joke too far because Simpson was a friend of network executive Don Ohlmeyer. The Daily Beast reported.

According to the newspaper, McDonald expressed his dissatisfaction with Maher in 2015, saying: hollywood reporter He said he thought Maher was “not funny at all.”

MacDonald passed away in September 2021 after a private battle with cancer, but Maher praised the late comedian for keeping his battle away from the public eye. THR.

“I mean, the fact that I didn't know about this means no one else knew about this. Good for you, Norm,” he said during a 2021 appearance shortly after MacDonald's death. jimmy kimmel live. “He kept it to himself because he's in show business. He's here to make you happy.”

Listen to the podcast episode above.

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