Bill Maher praised the late Norm Macdonald for keeping his cancer a secret during his nine-year battle.
The “Real Time With Bill Maher” host, 65, appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and spoke about Macdonald’s comedy stylings and legendary life.
“A guy who was never afraid to be too subtle for most people,” Maher said. “He did the jokes he wanted to do. I love that.”
He continued, “I love that I found out he died after he died. Because to me, show business: We’re here for [the audience]. You’re not here for us.”
Maher said he was not “judging anybody,” but he’s not on board with A-listers sharing their health battles so publicly with the world.
“Sometimes, the audience loves that. I’ve never been in that camp,” he stated. “I am not here to burden you. I am here to lighten your burden. So the fact that I didn’t know about this, nobody knew about this — good one, Norm. He kept it to himself because he’s in show business. He’s here to make you happy.”
Macdonald died on Tuesday at the age of 61. The comedian starred on “Saturday Night Live” from 1993 until 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 or any other generation,” the NBC late-night sketch show’s team told The Post in a statement earlier this week. “There are so many things that we’ll miss about Norm — from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise. But most of all he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.”
The “Billy Madison” star’s friend and producing partner Lori Jo Hoekstra was with him when he died and said he fought his cancer until the very end. Macdonald was also very serious about keeping the news of his disease away from family, friends and fans.
Hoekstra told Deadline in a statement at the time of his passing, “He was most proud of his comedy. He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise; it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly.”