Mike MacDonald, A Pioneer Stand Up Comedians, is Dead at 63
Written by Joseph Santiago
Mike MacDonald, a pioneer of the Canadian comedy club scene, died last Saturday in Ottawa. The Comedian was only 63 years old.
His brother J. P. MacDonald said that his brother Mike, who had been having issues with multiple health problems, died of “heart complications ” at the Ottawa Heart Institute.
Mr. MacDonald, who was known for his soft observational stand-up comedy and sometimes often outlandish facial expressions, Mike was a regular comic at Just for Laughs a comedy festival in Montreal, where he made the most overrall appearances.
He also performed on major USA television show, such as David Letterman and Arsenio Hall Show.
“Mike MacDonald was pretty much the very first Canadian superstar in our business,” Howard Wagman, owner of the comedy club Yuk Yuk’s Ottawa, where Mr. MacDonald regurlary performed. “He was a groundbreaker comic. 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 inspiration.
Mr. MacDonald was born on June 21, 1954, in France, his father had a career in the Canadian Air Force, which had him around a lot. He lived all over the world and his father decided to retire and settle in Ottawa.
Mike first got his start music where he became a drummer, and later got his start in comedy in the early 1970’s in an Ottawa punk rocker nightclub, called Rotter Club, He later decided to move to Toronto.
Mr. Macdonald communicates, about his past battles with drugs and mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. He spoke candidly about that there are two types of comedians” undiagnosed and diagnosed.”) He took to his social media in a post back in 2012 and announced that he has hepatitis C and that has caused issues to shut his kidney’s down.
He was giving a liver transplant 5 years ago and became a promoter for organ donations, where he talked about this in his comedy act.
“I have a bit in my act about the top three uses of the internet,” he said at the time. “No. 3: hate-mongering. No. 2: the downloading of free music. And the top one is porn]. But something like this, this is what the internet was intended for: to help people, to pass on information, the positive things in life.”
In addition to his brother, a singer who performs under the name Johnny Vegas, Mr. MacDonald’s survivors include his wife, Bonnie.