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Mike MacDonald

Mike MacDonald, a pioneer of the Canadian stand-up comedy scene, died on Saturday March 18, 2018 in Ottawa. He was 63.

His brother J. P. MacDonald said that Mr. MacDonald, who had been dealing with various health problems, died of “heart complications ” at the Ottawa Heart Institute.

Mr. MacDonald, who was known for gentle observational humor punctuated by often outlandish facial expressions, was a regular at the annual Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, where he made the most consecutive appearances of any performer.

He also had several specials on CBC and Showtime and appeared on the talk shows of David Letterman and Arsenio Hall.

“Mike MacDonald was pretty much the first Canadian superstar in our business,” Howard Wagman, owner of the comedy club Yuk Yuk’s Ottawa, where Mr. MacDonald frequently performed, told CBC News. “He was a groundbreaker. He was an original. He was truly Canadian.” Canadian comedians like Tom Green, who called him “one of the greats of stand-up comedy,” considered him an influence.