On Tuesday, the world lost one of the brightest minds to ever grace the world of comedy: Norm MacDonald. The comedian and actor passed away at the age of 61 after a private battle with cancer for the better part of a decade. MacDonald and his uncanny ability to make us laugh won't be forgotten anytime soon, especially since he has several more performances coming down the pipeline. According to Deadline, MacDonald had already completed voiceover work as Yaphit, the gelatinous and shapeshifting lieutenant/engineer, who is returning in Season 3 of The Orville.
A parody of Star Trek and its tropes, the series was created by Seth MacFarlane, who had also worked with the comedian on two episodes of Family Guy. "To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm MacDonald," MacFarlane wrote on Twitter. "You always hoped he would hang around after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh. So hilarious and so generous with his personality. I’m gonna miss him."
The show's official podcast, Planetary Union Network, also shared a tribute, writing: "We’ll miss you, Norm."
Orville co-producer Tom Costantino shared two behind-the-scenes images (you can check them out on Twitter here and here) of the practical Yaphit prop while production for Season 3 was underway in February and March of this year. While a physical bust of Yaphit is used so the actors have something to react to, the character is brought to life in post-production via CGI.
Season 3 of The Orville is slated to premiere exclusively on Hulu, though the Disney-owned platform has yet to confirm a set fixed date. The first 26 episodes of the show aired on Fox (the home of MacFarlane's Family Guy).