Last week, a young comedian named Shane Gillis was announced as a new cast member on Saturday Night Live. Within hours of the announcement, the inevitable happened. Some troubling video “surfaced” — in other words, somebody dug it up — of a podcast where Gillis said racist stuff about Asians. SNL, being the proud comedic institution it is, promptly fired him. The best moment of his life was ruined because he hurt somebody’s feelings.
Then, to compound his crime against #wokeness, Gillis refused to grovel before his adjudicators:
— Shane Gillis (@Shanemgillis) September 16, 2019
Last night Gillis did his first stand-up set since his firing, and he addressed the controversy. But if you’re one of the MAGA-heads defending him from the forces of political correctness, you might not like what he had to say.
Performing a stand-up set at The Stand NYC comedy club Wednesday night, [Shane] Gillis joked about the ordeal and the backlash he’s received online…
“As soon as they decide you’re a bad guy, you’re just alt-right now or something,” Gillis said. “For real, though, I did not vote for Donald Trump,” he added, winking at the audience…
“I will say this: Of all the presidents I’ve been alive for, Trump would definitely be the funniest one to see get shot. Like, without a doubt, that’d be funny. I’m not asking for that; I don’t want that to happen, but it would be funny to see. He’d be on stage talking (expletive), the shooter would be coming at him, and he’d be like, ‘Sit down.’ He’d definitely make a funny noise when he got hit. … It would be funny.”
I guess you had to be there? Maybe it was his delivery that sold it.
My attitude toward this is the same as my attitude toward Gillis’s other “offensive” remarks: I do not care. He’s a comedian. His job is to make an audience laugh. Either they do or they don’t. If they do, he’s succeeded. It doesn’t matter if he offends anybody in the process. That’s the last thing he should worry about. You don’t like it? So what! Go do something else with your time, and let people enjoy whatever type of comedy they like. There’s nothing simpler or easier than avoiding things that offend you. Anybody can do it. Everybody should do it.
And no, he’s not making a death threat. He’s not calling for violence. It’s a joke. You don’t have to think it’s funny, but don’t pretend it’s anything but a joke.
In other words: Don’t be snowflakes.
I’ll leave you with this, featuring one of my favorite comedians and two others who are pretty good: