Shane Gillis on SNL: 'I Thought We Were Allowed to Have Fun Here!'

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Comedian Shane Gillis is having a moment. He was fired as a newly hired cast member of Season 45 in 2019. Some old jokes from his podcast surfaced and he was canceled

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Gillis is popular online despite the cancellation by the progressive left. In a nod to its campaign to get back into the good graces of regular everyday people, Bud Light is collaborating with Gillis. Perhaps it was a nod to the fact that SNL is ignored by conservatives these days, but the show invited Gillis to host. There he was, doing the opening monologue, and the audience didn't quite know what to do. Should they laugh at a genuinely funny bit or should they sit there and pretend to be offended? 

What to do? What to do? It was a mixed bag with the audience's response. Adding to the equation was the fact that the comedian's father and mother were in the audience. 

“Most of you probably have no idea who I am,” Gillis said in his monologue tonight. “I was fired from this show a while ago. Don’t look that up. If you don’t know who I am, please don’t Google that. It’s fine, don’t even worry about it.”

Gillis continued, “I probably shouldn’t be up here, honestly. I should be home, I should be a high school football coach.”

Gillis acknowledged the audience's hesitancy to roll with his brand of comedy

Gillis continued to make jokes relating to his family, saying that he “was gay for my mom,” recalling how he used to have a close relationship with his mother as a kid up until “the first time I whacked off.” He then went on to joke about his family members with Down syndrome.

“Look, I don’t have any material that can be on TV,” Gillis acknowledged about his humor. “Also, this place is extremely well-lit. I can see everyone not enjoying it. This is the most nervous I’ve ever been.”

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Besides bringing his mother into his monologue, he also tweaked his father for being a volunteer girls' volleyball coach. Gillis has visions of being a high school football coach, he said, so he mocked his dad for his coaching gig. That is when he introduced his parents who were sitting in the audience.

He addressed Down syndrome with stories of his niece and a coffee shop his family opened that employs workers with Down syndrome. He made jokes at his expense yet it was a sweet tribute to his niece and her life.

'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!'

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.

Gillis may do politically incorrect comedy that gets him canceled by the progressive left, but that doesn't mean he's a conservative guy. He sounds like he leans left in politics. He said he is "rooting for" Joe Biden in his special. 

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Anyway, it was fun to see a New York City live audience full of progressives uncomfortable with the opening monologue. The show's cold open trashed Trump and GOP supporters of him in South Carolina, so it all evened out, I guess.



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David Strom 6:40 PM | April 18, 2024
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