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The raw joke, a stellar example of Macdonald in his prime, was only seen by an audience during a rehearsal.
Showing the famous photo of naked Vietnamese children running from a South Vietnamese napalm attack, Macdonald cracked, “In other news, Woody Allen is dating again!
Macdonald would occasionally deliver a piece of news, then take out his personal compact tape recorder and leave a "note to self" relevant to what he just discussed.
He commonly used Frank Stallone as a non sequitur punchline. Throughout Simpson's murder trial, Macdonald constantly pilloried the former football star, often heavily implying Simpson was guilty of the brutal slaying of his wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Macdonald and others believed that the real reason for his dismissal was his series of jokes calling O. Simpson a murderer during and after the trial; Ohlmeyer was good friends with Simpson and supported him during the proceedings.
Murphy was so upset by the comment that he refused to attend “SNL’s” 25th anniversary in 1999. “David is a very kind man,” said Macdonald, “but his remark was not.” After more than 30 years, Murphy returned to the legendary halls of Studio 8H on Saturday night for rehearsal, shocking “SNL” vets like Macdonald and Chris Rock. He’s been called the best “Weekend Update” anchor ever by some, including original cast member Chevy Chase.
During his time on the show, Macdonald was known for dropping poisonous one-liners during the faux news broadcast, including one that never made the air but still made waves.
Ohlmeyer stated that he was concerned that ratings research showed people turning away from the program during Macdonald's segment, and network insiders told the New York Daily News that Ohlmeyer and other executives had tried several times to get Macdonald to try a different approach on "Update".
Matters intensified when Ohlmeyer caused NBC to refuse to play MGM's advertisements for Macdonald's movie Dirty Work out of retaliation for what he saw as disparaging SNL and NBC with Letterman and Stern.