Norm Macdonald Will Have a Shot at a Posthumous Emmy, as Netflix Releases His Final Stand-Up Set This Month

Norm Macdonald may now be in the running for a posthumous Emmy. Netflix pulled a May surprise on Thursday, revealing that a final stand-up special from the legendary comedian, who died in September, will launch on May 30. The streamer confirmed that the special will be submitted for consideration, presumably in the outstanding variety special (pre-recorded) category.

Titled “Nothing Special,” the show will premiere a day before the May 31 cut-off date for Emmy eligibility. Despite a tremendous career in television, Macdonald had never been nominated for an Emmy.

According to Netflix, “Nothing Special” was shot during the summer of 2020, in the middle of lockdown due to the pandemic. Macdonald reportedly self-taped an hour-long set alone in his own living room, and performed it in a single take. The title “Nothing Special” was reportedly Macdonald’s own idea. The special is executive produced by the comedian’s longtime producing partner, Lori Jo Hoekstra.

In addition to the stand-up set, Netflix will also include a bonus featurette with footage from a Netflix is a Joke memorial event for Macdonald, which took place this May. Several comedians and friends of Macdonald — including Adam Sandler, Conan O’Brien, Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, David Spade and Molly Shannon — participated in a conversation about his life and legacy.

Known for his five seasons on “SNL,” the majority of which he spent as the host of “Weekend Update,” Macdonald previously released a special “Hitler’s Dog, Gossip & Trickery” on Netflix in 2017. He also hosted a 2018 talk show for the streamer, “Norm Macdonald Has a Show.” Macdonald died last September from leukemia, which he had privately been battling since 2012.

Before it was formally announced by Netflix, the existence of “Nothing Special” was revealed by his sister-in-law, Joyce Napier, who serves as CTV National News Ottawa bureau chief. In a tribute to Macdonald posted May 6, describing the Netflix is a Joke tribute, Napier announced the news that a posthumous special from the venerable comedian would be released soon.

“It turns out Norm left an hour of new material behind, recorded in his apartment during the lockdown,” Napier wrote. “It’ll be a Netflix comedy special soon. So, we have that. Which is precisely what Norm wanted.”

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