When Norm Macdonald died last September after a private, yearslong battle with cancer, his fans and even his friends were shocked.
That included his co-stars of The Orville, the sci-fi show on which he lent his trademark sarcastic voice to Yaphit [YAH-fit], a goo-like alien who serves as one of the titular starship's engineers.
"It was just sheer shock, I think, when we got the news," says Adrienne Palicki, who plays Commander Kelly Grayson on the show. "He was so young and vibrant and such a big part of what made the show great."
"That voice," she added wistfully, calling his loss "devastating."
"And it was too soon. And, you know, we miss him."
Penny Johnson Jerald plays the ship's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Claire Finn, on whom Yaphit had an unrequited crush. She called the loss "truly shocking."
However, she insists talking about it wasn't a "down note," but a celebration of the comedian, writer, and actor.
"That's the one wonderful thing about creating a project like this, or any television period, is that you live forever."
"So we will always see Norm when you do reruns or whatever; he exists on that level. He'll never be gone."
The Orville: New Horizons, and the previous two seasons of the show, are now on Hulu.