Saturday Night Live: 30 scandals and secrets you didn’t know

Saturday Night Live (Photo by NBC Television/Getty Images)
Saturday Night Live (Photo by NBC Television/Getty Images) /
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Norm MacDonald (Photo by Michael Brands/Getty Images)
Norm MacDonald (Photo by Michael Brands/Getty Images) /

10. O.J. Simpson jokes get Norm Macdonald booted off Weekend Update

One of my all-time favorite Weekend Update hosts in the wonderful comedian Norm Macdonald. For a period of time in the 1990s, Macdonald presented the news in his own unique way. His deadpan humor added a lot to his jokes, and he had great running gags (such as constantly mentioning Frank Stallone).

Suddenly, however, Macdonald wasn’t at the Weekend Update news desk. In his place was Colin Quinn, who, truth be told, isn’t half as funny. So why was he replaced? He was let go by producer Don Ohlmeyer, who said the decision was due to a ratings drop. But that doesn’t really seem to be the case.

Shortly before Macdonald was fired, he and longtime SNL writer Jim Downey had written a series of O.J. Simpson jokes. They poked fun at Simpson’s obvious guilt before and after the infamous trial. Coincidentally, Ohlmeyer was friends with O.J. and believes his innocence. He even threw a party for the jurors who acquitted Simpson.

Macdonald and Downey were also “coincidentally” fired at the exact same time. It’s rather sad that a TV producer’s love for a controversial figure like Simpson resulted in the loss of Macdonald’s job.