Social media on Tuesday was flooded with tributes to Norm Macdonald, who passed away after a decade-long battle with cancer that he kept private. People honored the comedian by sharing clips. They remembered how he (probably) got fired from SNL for doing too many O.J. Simpson jokes. Seth Rogen admitted that he “essentially ripped off” his deadpan delivery when he was starting out. But one of the most moving tributes came from an unexpected place: You guessed it, Frank Stallone.
During his stint as host of Weekend Update, Macdonald would regularly set up an elaborate joke, usually about some calamity, but sometimes for a real accomplishment. And he would blame it on the actor, musician, and brother to Sylvester Stallone. The punchline was always the same: “You guessed it: Frank Stallone.” Macdonald blamed Sly’s brother for toxic waste in Los Angeles, the mass killing of fish in Maryland, and unemployment downturns in the mid-’90s. He also, for the record, once claimed he was the second most powerful person in show business (behind Rupert Murdoch). He did this over and over again, until he left SNL.
Sometimes the jokes would get big laughs. Sometimes they’d get confused shrugs. But there was one person who seemed to enjoy it: You guessed it, Frank Stallone.
“I was saddened to hear that Norm MacDonald passed away today at 61,” Frank wrote on Instagram. “He had a lot of fun with me on weekend update with, You Guessed It Frank Stallone. I thought it was funny. My only regret was that I never got to do the show with him. I thought he was an original and very funny. My condolences go out to the MacDonald family.”
Meanwhile, as of this writing, O.J. Simpson has yet to weigh in. But you can watch a half-hour of Macdonald O.J. jokes below.
And you can watch Frank Stallone jokes, plus him discussing them after the fact, above.