Legendary comedian Norm Macdonald sadly passed away on Tuesday, following a long and private battle with cancer. Macdonald was 61 years old when he died and leaves behind a lifetime of brilliant comedy. One of Macdonald’s very last roles came on The Orville, the hourlong sci-fi dramedy from creator Seth MacFarlane. The third season of The Orville is going to debut exclusively on Hulu, and Macdonald finished all of his work on the upcoming installment prior to his passing.
On The Orville, Macdonald voiced a character named Yaphit, a gelatinous, shapeshifting being that acted as one of the engineers on the titular space vessel. According to Deadline, Macdonald’s Yaphit will return for the third season when it airs on Hulu.
To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm MacDonald. You always hoped he would hang around after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh. So hilarious and so generous with his personality. I’m gonna miss him.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) September 14, 2021
MacFarlane, who stars in The Orville in addition to creating and producing it, took to Twitter following Macdonald’s death to praise the late comedian. In addition to working together on The Orville, Macdonald was a guest star on MacFarlane’s long-running animated series, Family Guy.
“To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm Macdonald,” MacFarlane wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. “You always hoped he would hang around after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh. So hilarious and so generous with his personality. I’m gonna miss him.”
— Tom Costantino (@TomCostantino) March 19, 2021
Earlier this year, while production on the third season of The Orville was underway, models of Yaphit on the show’s set were featured in various behind-the-scenes photos. It was assumed for a while that the character would be making a return in the third installment of the series. Production on Season 3 wrapped in August.
Through the first two seasons of The Orville, Macdonald is credited with 17 appearances as the voice of the ship engineer. There’s no word at this time on how many episodes will feature his character in Season 3.
The first two seasons of The Orville are currently streaming on Hulu.