Conan O’Brien Praises Late-Comedian Norm Macdonald’s O.J. Simpson Jokes That Got Him Fired From ‘SNL’

Conan O'Brien attends Sean Penn, Bryan Lourd and Vivi Nevo Host 10th Anniversary Gala Benefiting CORE at Wiltern Theatre on January 15, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage/Getty Images

Conan O’Brien praised late-comedian Norm Macdonald’s past jokes about O.J. Simpson’s murder trial that resulted in Macdonald losing his job at “Saturday Night Live.”

During the late-night talk show host’s appearance on Thursday with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the two talked about the news of the day — Simpson’s death at 76 following a battle with prostate cancer, Fox News reported.

“It was a huge deal back then,” O’Brien said as he noted the murder trial coverage from comedians. “Most notably – he’s passed on – Norm Macdonald, one of my best guests of all time and one of the great comedians of all time…”

“[He] just told some of the most – did the most brilliant, I think, comedy of anybody during that whole period,” he added, noting the jokes the late-star did following Simpson’s acquittal in the 1995 double murder trial of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

Tapper replied, “Lost his job at ‘SNL’ because he was making fun of O.J. Simpson for being the real killer.”

“Yes,” O’Brien replied, and said that “the head of the network at the time was tight with O.J.,” without naming the executive.


“Don Ohlmeyer?” Tapper asked, to which the comedian laughed, “Who can remember these names.”

“Anyway, water under the bridge,” O’Brien added. “But that was a huge moment in history, I think, of this country.”

“It was a, you know, massive – there have been many times in this country where we’ve needed to stop and reassess where we are in our racial history, and where are we, what progress have we made, and that was one of those moments and it was such a watershed moment,” O’Brien continued.

Tapper then asked O’Brien if he was going to make a joke about Simpson, and he replied, “I never make a joke about someone the day they pass.”

The late-night talk show host wasn’t the only one remembering Norm’s jokes on Thursday, with clips of Macdonald going viral on social media about his cracks at “The Juice” and saying that murder was “legal in the state of California” after Simpson’s acquittal, Fox News noted.

Despite the pro athlete being acquitted during the criminal trial, he was found liable for Brown Simpson and Goldman’s deaths three years later in a civil trial brought by the victims’ families and was ordered to pay more than $33 million in damages.

Simpson was later arrested in Las Vegas and charged with armed robbery and kidnapping in 2007. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison with a minimum of nine years without parole and was released in 2017 after serving that minimum. The former NFL star was released from parole in 2021.

Amanda Harding contributed to this piece.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Conan O’Brien Praises Late-Comedian Norm Macdonald’s O.J. Simpson Jokes That Got Him Fired From ‘SNL’