James Corden has paid tribute to Norm Macdonald, describing the comedian as among the greatest ever late-night TV guests.

Macdonald, best-known for his work on long-running sketch show Saturday Night Live, died on Tuesday aged 61 following a private, nine-year battle with cancer.

The Canadian stand-up was famed for his memorable appearances on the US late-night TV circuit.

Following Macdonald’s death, his 2014 joke about a moth’s visit to a podiatrist on Conan O’Brien’s show was praised as a classic.

Corden, hosting his The Late Late Show, said Macdonald was a unique talent.

He said: “Some really sad news today, we have lost an absolute comedy legend, I’m sure you will have seen this in the news today – Norm Macdonald passed away today, far too soon, far too young, after a nine-year battle with cancer.

“A battle that Norm never told anybody about. Because all Norm ever wanted to do was make us laugh and he was absolutely brilliant at it.

“There was nobody quite like him. I felt privileged any time I got to be in his orbit. He leaves us as one of the all-time great comics, perhaps the single greatest guest in the history of late-night television.”

On his late-night show, Seth Meyers, also a former Saturday Night Live star, paid a warm tribute to Macdonald.

“He was the gold standard and he will continue to be the gold standard,” Meyers said.

“I would just suggest that everybody go watch him tell the moth story on Conan, go watch any number of Norm Macdonald things tonight, because they are really, truly timeless.”