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Names and faces

by Compiled Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | October 4, 2021 at 4:45 a.m.

• Norm Macdonald, the comedian known for hosting the Weekend Update segment on "Saturday Night Live," was honored during this week's premiere of the show's 47th season, with current Weekend Update hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che taking a moment to honor their beloved predecessor, who died last month at age 61 after a private battle with cancer. "It is a bittersweet night for us tonight," Jost said at the end of the comedians' set. "On Sept. 14, our friend Norm Macdonald passed away," added Che. Hailing the revered comic as "the reason that I ever wanted to do Weekend Update," Jost introduced a highlight reel of some of Macdonald's best material -- handpicked by the folks at "SNL" -- to close out the segment. "This is the fake news," Macdonald quipped in a throwback clip from his Weekend Update tenure, which spanned 3½ seasons from 1994 to 1998. Another went: "At the White House this week, President Clinton officially came out against same-sex marriages. What's more, the president said he is not too crazy about opposite-sex marriages either." The edit even included one of the stand-up's many jokes about the trial of former NFL running back O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted of murder in 1995. "SNL" legend has it that Macdonald was eventually fired from the show for his controversial commentary because an NBC executive was a friend of Simpson's. "In a brilliant move during closing arguments, Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran put on the knit cap prosecutors say O.J. wore the night he committed the murders -- although O.J. may have hurt his case when he suddenly blurted out, 'Hey, easy with that! That's my lucky stabbing hat,'" Macdonald joked. "And that's the way it is, folks. Good night."

• Billy Strings, already a Grammy Award winner, won entertainer of the year at the International Bluegrass Music Association's Bluegrass Music Awards. The 28-year-old was also named guitar player of the year last week at an awards show in Raleigh, N.C. Strings, originally from Michigan, won a Grammy for his 2019 album "Home," and just released his second record for Rounder Records, an acoustic album called "Renewal." Also picking up multiple awards was Appalachian Road Show, which won best new artist and instrumental group of the year. Sister Sadie won vocal group of the year, song of the year went to Balsam Range for "Richest Man," and album of the year is "Industrial Strength Bluegrass: Southwestern Ohio's Musical Legacy."

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