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SNL goes anti-woke! Fired former cast member Shane Gillis makes triumphant return as host with VERY risque jokes about race, gays and Down syndrome

SNL goes anti-woke! Fired former cast member Shane Gillis makes triumphant return as host with VERY risque jokes about race, gays and Down syndrome
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By Stephen M. Lepore For Dailymail.Com

06:51 25 Feb 2024, updated 13:24 27 Feb 2024

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Fired former SNL cast member Shane Gillis returned as host with a shockingly risque monologue joking about Down syndrome, race and gays.

The funnyman – who became a huge online star after his 2019 ousting over racist and homophobic remarks – stunned the audience by suggesting he’d been ‘nicked’ by Down syndrome and using the word r*tarded.

Gillis then went into a lengthy story about how his niece has Down Syndrome, while poking fun at himself for looking like he himself had it.

‘I don’t if you can tell by looking at me, but I do have family members with Down Syndrome. It almost got me! I dodged it, but it nicked me!’

He then said: ‘My niece has Down Syndrome and… I thought that was gonna get a bigger laugh. I thought we were allowed to have fun here!’

Fired former SNL cast member Shane Gillis returned as host with a shockingly risque monologue joking about Down syndrome, race and gays

In 2019 several clips surfaced in which the star used racist and homophobic slurs on numerous occasions – including on an episode of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.

Before moving on, Gillis briefly addressed his firing, opening with a chastened: ‘Yeah, I’m here.’ 

‘Most of you probably have no idea who I am,’ he said. ‘I was actually fired from this show a while ago but… don’t look that up, please, if you don’t know who I am. Please don’t Google that. It’s fine, don’t even worry about it.’

He then joked about how he resembles ‘a high school football coach/9th grade sex education teacher’ before calling out his father, who was in the audience, saying that he’s a ‘volunteer junior high girls basketball coach.’ 

Gillis – who released a Netflix special last year and co-hosts a podcast with over 100,000 subscribers on Patreon – often struggled with the New York audience’s reaction  

‘Look, I don’t have any material that can be on TV,’ he cracked. ‘I’m trying my best. Also, this place is extremely well lit, I can see everyone not enjoying it.’ 

However, the comedian – who recently partnered with Bud Light as a spokesman – continued to plow through with material about young men and their relationships with their mom that touched on homosexuality.

‘My mom asked me: ‘When did we stop being best friends?’ And she’s right, we used to be best friends. You remember that, when you were a little boy and you loved your mom? Remember when you were gay?

He continued: ‘You remember when you were just a gay little boy? Every little boy is just their mom’s gay best friend, there’s zero difference.’

Gillis then joked about how he would gossip with his mother while listening to ‘her music,’ miming the opening to Shania Twain‘s ‘Man, I feel Like a Woman.’ 

The punch of the joke was Gillis admitting that he’d stopped being his mother’s best friend when he began masturbating as a teenager. 

Shane Gillis shocked viewers of SNL with jokes far risquer that the usual material on the show
Gillis was fired as a cast member shortly after being appointed in 2019, but has since gone on to huge success
Gillis is pictured with Donald Trump – although he insists he’s a Joe Biden supporter
In a post the the brands Instagram account they confirmed that Gillis, seen here, was now part of the team
Gillis shared images of himself being put to work inside the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St Louis, Missouri

‘It was the first time I whacked off…one nut, you’re like, when’s that b**ch gonna’ leave the house, I have so much business to attend to!’ 

‘I hope I can say those words on TV,’ he added.

‘You go over to their house, it’s like getting into the craziest Uber pool you’ve ever been in. It’s crazy. You’re like: ‘How did you guys meet?”

The comic – who said in his special he was ‘rooting for’ Joe Biden despite becoming a hero of the ‘anti-woke’ movement – he thinks it would be ‘a nice thing for the country’ if one day, her niece’s three brothers beat up a white kid for bullying her.

‘When my niece is probably in fifth, sixth grade at recess, some white kid’s out there like: ‘You’re not allowed to play with us, you’re r*tarded.’ And then three black kids come flying out of nowhere just start wailing on that cracker!’ 

He wrapped up by joking again about Down syndrome, noting that his family had started a coffee shop in his hometown where they employed people living with it.

‘It’s going exactly how you think it would go. It’s doing well, line around the corner every day. Not because there’s a ton of people going but service is…’ he trailed off.

While he didn’t take part in the show’s political cold open, he did do a sketch where he did his viral impression of President Trump, at one point facing off with SNL’s regular Trump mimic, James Austin Johnson, in a sketch mocking the president’s $400 golden shoes.

The immediate reaction to Gillis’ monologue was a celebration of the comedian’s material, with one person comparing it to Dave Chappelle’s controversial hosting efforts.

‘First funny thing on SNL since Dave Chappelle,’ wrote one viewer on X. ‘Glad you Broken Clocks finally got another thing right for once. Shane Gillis should run your whole show.’

The immediate reaction to Gillis’ monologue was a celebration of the comedian’s material, with one person comparing it to Dave Chappelle’s controversial hosting efforts

‘Shane Gillis was uncomfortable but those jokes were still on point funny,’ added another.

Another viewer called Gillis’ awkward response from the crowd a badge of honor

‘Shane Gillis bombing on SNL is the funniest thing he could have done. This is incredible.’

The overall response was positive, with one viewer summing it up: ‘Finally a real comedian.’

‘Kinda funny that SNL fired Shane Gillis for doing offensive accents on his podcast and in his very first sketch he does an offensive accent,’ wrote one more, who said he ‘didn’t love’ Gillis’ performance.

Not everyone was positive, as one viewer complained about the jokes regarding his family with Down syndrome. 

‘Hard to hear him make fun of developmentally delayed persons. My aunt was DD and was fully aware of when she was being made fun of, and laughed at,’ she wrote. 

Hard to hear him make fun of developmentally delayed persons. My aunt was DD and was fully aware of when she was being made fun of, and laughed at. 

Not everyone was positive, as one viewer complained about the jokes regarding his family with Down syndrome

Another responded to SNL’s account by writing: ‘2019: Shame on you, SNL. 2024: Shame on you, SNL.’ 

Early reviews in the entertainment press were negative. The two publications that have reviews the show so far – New York magazine’s liberal Vulture website and the equally progressive Daily Beast – both professed anger at the near-the-knuckle content.

In 2019 several clips surfaced in which the star used racist and homophobic slurs on numerous occasions – including on an episode of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.

In the podcast, Gillis and Matt McCusker mocked comedians Judd Apatow and Chris Gethard, referring to them as ‘white f****t comics’ and ‘f***ing gayer than ISIS.’

Gillis is also heard telling McCusker that their conversation is ‘nice racism, good racism.’

Another clip emerged from a September 2018 podcast episode in which Gillis referred to people living in New York City‘s Chinatown as ‘f***ing c***ks’.

He also mocked a Chinese accent and the language barrier in the video, saying: ‘Chinatown’s f***ing nuts.’

‘The translation between you and the waiter it’s just such a f***ing hassle, it’s like can you, I’m pointing at it, like this is the f***ing noodles.’

The comedian, 36, had previously been fired from the sketch show after videos emerged of him using and racial and homophobic slurs during a podcast in 2019
Gillis quickly issued an apology for 10 years of mostly ‘bad’ comedy on Twitter after the incident

He quickly issued an apology for 10 years of mostly ‘bad’ comedy on Twitter.

‘I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of bad misses,’ Gillis said in his apology note.

‘I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.’

SNL said at the time: ‘After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining ‘SNL.

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‘We want ‘SNL’ to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for ‘SNL.’ 

‘We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. 

‘We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.’ 

Shane added: ‘It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are. 

In 2019 several clips surfaced in which the star used racist and homophobic slurs on numerous occasions – including on an episode of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast
Gillis has since gone from strength to strength, his podcast growing into a huge success, booking a Netflix special and playing arenas opening for comic Bert Kresicher

‘I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get ‘SNL.’ That can’t be taken away. Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at ‘SNL,’ but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. 

Gillis has since gone from strength to strength, his podcast growing into a huge success, booking a Netflix special and playing arenas opening for comic Bert Kresicher.

Bud Light have seemingly turned their back on woke politics with a new partnership with Gillis, following a dismal year for the brand. 

In a post on the brand’s official Instagram account they confirmed that Gillis, 36, was now part of the team. 

Saturday Night Live, however, has struggled with backlash to both seemingly ‘woke’ and ‘anti-woke’ comedy and performers, including within its own cast. 

Legendary comic Dave Chappelle has become a regular at the show of late, each of his appearances seemingly causing controversy.

Eagle-eyed viewers noticed Saturday Night Live star Bowen Yang standing as far away as possible as comedian Dave Chappelle made a surprise appearance in a recent episode’s end credits.

Chappelle, 50, who has hosted the show multiple times in the past and even saw rumors of writers boycotting when he did so in 2022, did not appear in the most recent episode proper but arrived to wave goodnight to the audience.

The comic has often pushed boundaries and caused outrage with what many see as jokes at the expense of the transgender community which he argues has caused people to protest his shows and even throw eggs at him

He never spoke but stood next to a star-studded lineup as host Dakota Johnson thanked musical guest Justin Timberlake and guest stars like Jimmy Fallon, Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran. 

Yang, who is gay and vocally supportive of LGBT causes, was seen standing as far away as possible from Chappelle and appeared perturbed.

Eagle-eyed viewers noticed Saturday Night Live star Bowen Yang (pictured left) standing as far away as possible as comedian Dave Chappelle made a surprise appearance in a recent episode’s end credits

Yang, 33 was seen standing as far away as possible from Chappelle and appeared perturbed

At one point, the 33 year-old and fellow cast member Sarah Sherman appear to be discussing Chappelle turning up as the end credits roll.

Yang appears to say ‘Oh’ at one point as Sherman clearly tries to get a view of the legendary comic. 

Neither of them appear to greet Chappelle at any point during the goodnights, with Yang remaining in the corner. 

The show and Yang have yet to publicly comment on the episode. 

Also not appearing to address Chappelle was Molly Kearney, the only non-binary cast member in the show’s history. Kearney uses they/them pronouns.

Kearney, Sherman and Yang all appeared sparingly in that episode and Kearney only appeared in a pre-recorded sketch and did not appear in the end credits the last time Chappelle hosted in 2022, according to Paste Magazine.

Saturday Night Live staff writers were rumored to be boycotting that weekend’s show over the decision to have Chappelle host it, according to reports.

However, a representative for Chappelle said there had been no signs of a boycott when they had attended meetings with the writers during the week. 

Notably, Yang, Sherman and Kearney all made multiple appearances alongside Gillis in sketches in this weeks episode, while Yang and Gillis embraced on camera at the end of the show. 

More recently, the show courted outrage from the conservative side with it’s sketch mocking the disastrous Congressional campus anti-Semitism hearings.

The opening sketch attempted to make light of the college presidents’ lacking testimony, but their efforts evoked few laughs.

Then backlash began online, where viewers slammed the sketch for attempting to undermine the seriouesness of anti-Semitism on US college campuses in the weeks since the October 7 terror attack.

The pre-written sketch was also rolled out just hours after University of Pennsylvania President Amy Magill – whose testimony before the House panel appeared to be especially smug – resigned in disgrace following a woeful performance these past eight weeks.

SNL newcomer Chloe Troast portrayed Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the chair of the House Republican caucus and a loyal supporter of former President Trump.

SNL newcomer Chloe Troast portrayed Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the chair of the House Republican caucus and a loyal supporter of former President Trump

In a moment that was meant to ridicule Stefanik’s hearing performance – which has generally been widely praised – she said: ‘I’m going to start yelling questions at these women like Billy Eichner.’ 

‘Antisemitism – yay or nay?’ she screamed at the three women playing the college presidents. 

‘Yes or no! Is calling for the genocide of Jews against the code of conduct for Harvard?’

The actress playing Harvard University’s Claudine Gay responded: ‘Well, it depends on the context.’

‘What? That can’t be your answer,’ Troast’s Stefanik retorted, echoing the shocking real-world interaction between the pair.

‘UPenn lady, same question, yes or no?’ she asked the actress playing Magill.

‘If you don’t say yes, you’re going to make me look good, which is really, really hard to do,’ she continued. ‘So I will ask you straight up. Do you think genocide is bad?’

iHeart Radio host Mark Simone wrote on X following the sketch: ‘Only a hate-filled, anti-Semitic SNL could do a sketch about the anti-Semitic college presidents testifying in front of Congress and make the questioner Congresswoman Stefanik the target of the sketch.’

‘They (SNL) – oddly – tried to skewer Elise Stefanik (who by all accounts won the day) as shrill. I guess I was under the misapprehension that calling a woman “shrill” was sexist,’ wrote another user.

A third disgusted user wrote: ‘Congratulate SNL, everyone. Since they haven’t been funny for years, they’ve now simply transcended comedy and become one big joke. Not sure what’s more pathetic, this vague attempt at comedy, or mocking those who stand up against Antisemitism at a time like this. Filth.’

As the sketch fell flat both live and to the online crowd, the real Stefanik was sending out a scathing indictment of Magill and the other university presidents following the news of the Penn president’s resignation.

‘One down. Two to go,’ she wrote.

SNL’s creator and longtime executive producer Lorne Michaels is Jewish and was born on a kibbutz in what was then British mandated Palestine, before moving with his parents to Toronto.

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Under his continued guidance, the show has moved especially far left during the Trump years, largely using its airtime to lambast the political right and make fun of those who oppose woke policy. 



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