Mike MacDonald, a popular stand-up comedian well known and respected throughout Canada, passed away on Saturday at Ottawa Heart Institute as a result of heart complications.
He was 63 years old.
MacDonald’s brother confirmed this sad piece of news to CTV News early on Sunday.
The passing has especially resonated in Montreal because MacDonald had performed at the Montreal-based Just For Laughs comedy festival more times than any other performer.
Tweeted this event from its official social media account:
“Saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friends and Canadian comedy legend Mike MacDonald.
“Over the years he has graced our stages more than any other comic and will be greatly missed.”
The son of a Royal Canadian Air Force officer, MacDonald was actually born in Metz, France.
He started his comedy career at the age of 24, moving to Toronto in order to perform at various venues once he quit his full-time job in order to focus on this industry for a living.
In the wake of MacDonald’s passing
Over the years, MacDonald was featured on such programs as Late Night with David Letterman and The Arsenio Hall Show, while also starring in three specials for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
They were: “Mike MacDonald; On Target,” “My House! My Rules!,” and “Happy As I Can Be.”
In 2013, MacDonald underwent liver transplant surgery after a hepatitis C diagnosis two years earlier progressed to the point of organ failure.
It is unknown at this time whether that condition contributed to his unexpected death over the weekend.
In the wake of MacDonald’s passing, numerous comedians and entertainers took to Twitter in order to mourn the hilarious star.
Marc Maron: “Mike MacDonald died yesterday.He was the real deal. Comedy warrior. RIP.”
Jim Gaffigan: So sad to hear about Mike MacDonald. I had the pleasure of performing with Canadian comedy legend a couple times. Once at a [Just for Laughs] gala and recently when I performed in Ottawa…On both occasions he was pure class and funny as hell.”
Jeremy Hotz: “I am pained to inform you that my friend and comedy mentor Mike MacDonald has passed away. Mike was a ferociously funny man. We shared so many good times. Thanks for taking me under your wing way back in the day. You were a great comic. You did your country proud.”
Kathy Griffin: “RIP. Respect must be paid. Thank you for the laughs, Mike. Thank you for the work ethic and being a real deal comic influencer.”
We send our thoughts to the comic’s loved ones.
May Mike MacDonald rest in peace.