Bill Maher praised the late Norm Macdonald for keeping his cancer a secret during his nine-year battle.
The 65-year-old “Real Time With Bill Maher” host appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and spoke about Macdonald’s comedy styles and legendary life.
“A guy who was never afraid to be too subtle for most people,” Maher said. “He made the jokes he wanted to make. I like this.”
He continued, “I love that I found out that he died after he died. Because for me, show business: we are here to [the audience]. You are not there for us.
Maher said he was not “judging anyone,” but disagreed with A-listers who so publicly share their health battles with the world.
“Sometimes the public just love it. I have never been in this camp, ”he said. “I am not here to overwhelm you. I am here to lighten your burden. So the fact that I didn’t know about it, nobody knew about it – well, Norm. He kept it to himself because he’s in show business. He is there to make you happy.
Macdonald died Tuesday at the age of 61. The comedian starred in “Saturday Night Live” from 1993 to 1999.
“Today is a sad day. All of us here at ‘SNL’ mourn the loss of Norm Macdonald, one of the most impactful comedic voices of his generation or any other generation,” the team said. NBC’s late-night skit show at The Post in a statement earlier this week. “There is so much that we will miss about Norm – from his unwavering integrity and generosity to his constant ability to surprise.” But most of all, he was just funny, no one was funny like Norm.
“Billy Madison” star’s friend and production partner Lori Jo Hoekstra was with him when he died and said he fought cancer to the very end. Macdonald was also very serious about keeping news of his illness away from family, friends and fans.
Hoekstra told Deadline in a statement at the time of his death: “He was most proud of his comedy. He never wanted the diagnosis to affect how the public or anyone close to him viewed him. Norm was pure comic. He once wrote that “a joke should surprise someone; he should never flatter. He certainly never flattered. Norm will be sadly missed.