'The Conners' dedicates live season 4 premiere to Norm Macdonald
"The Conners" kicked off its fourth season with a live episode, ending with a touching tribute to comedian Norm Macdonald, who died last week at the age of 61 after a long, private battle with cancer.
The episode, titled “Trucking Live in Front of a Fully Vaccinated Studio Audience,” began with star and executive producer Sara Gilbert announcing, "Oh, 'The Conners' is live right now in front of a fully vaccinated studio audience," directly to the camera.MORE: David Letterman, Conan O'Brien among stars mourning death of Norm Macdonald
"Wait, what?" Laurie Metcalf, appearing shocked while also breaking the fourth wall, responded before the two of them joined the opening scene, already in progress.
The episode ended with the cast, seated on the show's iconic sofa, holding up a sign that read, "Dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague, Norm Macdonald."
The premiere continued one of last season's storylines, in which Darlene (Gilbert) tries to navigate hurdles in her relationship with Ben, played by Jay R. Ferguson.
Darlene, trying to salvage their relationship, proved her commitment to him by putting a deposit down on an apartment. This provided another opportunity to play up the fact that the episode was filmed live, when the camera followed Gilbert as she ran from one set to the other to find him.MORE: Emmys 2021 recap: Memorable speeches, tributes and more
"Better run, it's a lot further than you think," warned Metcalf. "It's the set opposite Wellman's Plastics."
"Look at her go," John Goodman added.