Saturday Night Live: Shane Gillis / 21 Savage
February 25, 2024 12:55 PM - Season 49, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Shane Gillis is the guy SNL hired, then fired before the season started because he was videoed spouting some ethnic jokes.

  • Cold Open - Trump Endorsements: Marcello Hernandez, Mikey Day, James Austin Johnson, Devon Walker
  • Monologue: Shane Gillis
  • Vacation Church: Andrew Dismukes, Molly Kearney, Shane Gillis, Heidi Gardner, Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Punkie Johnson, Devon Walker
  • Rock Bottom Kings: Shane Gillis, Kenan Thompson, Marcello Hernandez
  • HR Meeting: Bowen Yang, Chloe Fineman, Shane Gillis, Ego Nwodim, Michael Longfellow, Punkie Johnson, Andrew Dismukes, Kenan Thompson, Sarah Sherman, Molly Kearney, Heidi Gardner, Marcello Hernandez
  • Trump Sneakers: Shane Gillis, Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, Devon Walker, Andrew Dismukes, Sarah Sherman, James Austin Johnson
  • The Floor: Michael Longfellow, Bowen Yang, Shane Gillis, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim
  • 21 Savage - Redrum
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Frozen Embryo: Marcello Hernandez
    • Truman Capote: Bowen Yang
  • Forrest Gump Reunion: Chloe Fineman, Andrew Dismukes, James Austin Johnson, Shane Gillis, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner
  • Fugliana: Shane Gillis, Sarah Sherman, Heidi Gardner, James Austin Johnson, Mikey Day, Punkie Johnson, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman
  • 21 Savage - Should've Worn a Bonnet / Prove It (w/Brent Faiyaz & Summer Walker)
  • Alexa Suveillance: Andrew Dismukes, Heidi Gardner, Sarah Sherman, Devon Walker, Shane Gillis
posted by rhizome (27 comments total)
First Chapelle crashes the stage, then Niki Haley has a cameo, now this. I hope Bowen ends up at a better day job.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:07 PM on February 25 [5 favorites]

ethnic jokes

Also sexist and homophobic! I didn’t watch his monologue but could just about bear him in sketches. Marcello’s frozen embryo was my favourite however!

Also in 21 Savage’s first performance of Redrum, the violinist is a talented Réunionese French woman called Mapy, and the song samples a Brazilian song which is what the women are singing in the beginning.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:31 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]

Meant to share this too: What’s the Deal With Shane Gillis Hosting SNL? [Vulture / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 3:01 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]

Yeah, stuff like this is why I don't really watch this show anymore. I think some of the people have been there too long, maybe it's time for them to move on already.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:30 PM on February 25

I hate to be the person who shows up in the FanFare feed to say they won't watch it, but, I'm not going to watch this, and this Voxplainer gives the reasons why.
posted by General Malaise at 6:04 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]

I knew Shane Gillis had been fired from SNL for making racist jokes, but that’s all I knew of him. Never watched any of his standup, never listened to a podcast, and certainly did not know any of that stuff from the Voxplainer, holy crap. But I do know that was perhaps the least funny episode of modern SNL I’ve ever seen. (I skipped the Trump and Musk episodes.)

Even stuff that had nothing to do with Gillis, like Weekend Update, was less funny than usual. Maybe his monologue soured me on the whole episode? The only laugh I had in the whole episode was Bowen’s Truman Capote: “Women are like kombucha, full of yeast and technically alive.” (Bowen can do misogyny much more funnily than either Gillis or Che.)

Also, in my opinion, Gillis brought absolutely nothing to the show. Every other white male host this season was able to bring something interesting to their episode and their sketches (even if it was just “is tall” for Jacob Elordi). All of Gillis’s parts could have been played by Andrew Dismukes and it would have been a much better episode.
posted by ejs at 6:51 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]

I did have a moment after the musical performance and the weekend update when the sketch started and I got reminded this guy was hosting. If I had heard about Shane Gillis beforehand, I had forgotten all about him, which in retrospect feels like the right move.

I did get some laughs out of the Forrest Gump reunion sketch, though I expect I would've liked it better with just about anyone else. Bowen as Capote was probably the overall highlight, which I usually don't say about the desk pieces.

Bowen's probably got the highest profile, but definitely not the only person on the show who deserves better than what's been happening lately. I saw some screenshotted tweet of horrible people calling out band members individually for not laughing at the monologue, and nobody needs that kind of grief.
posted by ckape at 7:53 PM on February 25

The Kenan/Ego Jamaican Catholic bit was very very good, but the "evolving squares" white family bit didn't add anything. Other than that, I chuckled some, the monologue was crap and really maybe the real punishment for him.
posted by rhizome at 8:42 PM on February 25

That opening monologue was horrid and I cannot understand why the “jokes” were approved.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:17 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]

I was barely cognizant of who Gillis was. Regardless, this was without a doubt the weakest episode of the season and that's saying something. Often, Weekend Update can save an episode but Jost and Che really phoned this one in.
posted by Ber at 12:06 AM on February 26

Women cast members made to portray blow-up dolls????? How did that happen??? Geez, I'm sorry, you all deserve way way better.
posted by amtho at 2:08 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]

Linked from both the Vulture and Vox pieces is this from the Daily Beast about Gillis' podcast:

Why Does Shane Gillis Keep Promoting These Holocaust Deniers? (archive)

Those who keep listening will eventually meet Bill McCusker, the brother of Gillis’ co-host Matt McCusker, and Andrew Pacella, their longtime friend. The two have appeared nearly 20 times since 2019 on Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, currently Patreon’s top-ranked podcast with more than 80,000 paid subscribers. They have hosted a podcast of their own, War Mode, since 2020. Thanks in part to the exposure they received on Gillis’s platform, Pacella and McCusker have grown their audience to more than 12,800 Patreon subscribers, generating more than $32,000 in monthly income. Also, they’re Holocaust deniers...

Even more concerning than their embrace of Pizzagate is their Holocaust denial. In the very second episode of War Mode from March 2020, about 26 minutes into their conversation, Pacella tells McCusker that he’s been watching “sick YouTubes” about Robert David Steele, a Holocaust denier, recurring Alex Jones guest, and 2020 election truther. “He’s talking about the evil Zionists in the government,” Pacella says. “Jews are good, Zionists bad. Jews are good.”

Then, with no transition, he starts talking about the Holocaust. “Prove to me that it happened,” he says. “Show me, historians. Why are they lying, dude? Why are all these so-called survivors making up stories, then? It was a hallucination. OK, man. How about the actual footage of the showers, bro?”

posted by mediareport at 5:08 AM on February 26 [10 favorites]

Fuck this mediocre white dude.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:41 AM on February 26 [4 favorites]

About halfway through my husband said out loud "Why is every sketch about trying to make his racism funny?"

That's after sitting through his "being gay for mommy" bit, which was so much trash that I can't even put non-angry words to it.
posted by archimago at 9:26 AM on February 26 [4 favorites]

I had no idea who this assface was--I thought he was some kind of American football player or something. And since everything felt so unfunny, I just assumed he had never done comedy or been in front of cameras like that. What the fuck is wrong with them that they keep bringing these garbage people on? Isn't Che's relentless, repulsive misogyny enough?
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:13 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

I don't understand the being gay for mommy bit, how is that supposed to function as a joke? Is it merely meant to be transgressive? It's bad on a lot of levels, but even that basic one eludes me.
posted by Carillon at 11:55 PM on February 26

I haven't watched this episode, nor shall I (I tend to catch up on SNL via individual sketches on YT), but the descriptions here remind me a lot of when Andrew Dice Clay hosted SNL, which unfortunately I did watch, back in the day.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:11 PM on February 27

I don't understand the being gay for mommy bit, how is that supposed to function as a joke?

It probably only makes sense as a joke if you were AMAB and you've got a lot of internalized bullshit from growing up steeped in American misogyny/homophobia. If you've spent your life straining to "be a man" within the patriarchy, forever on guard against anything "sissy," the idea that you were once a child who could freely express his feelings and enjoy "girly" stuff (like spending time with mommy) is a source of shame and anxiety. So, Gillis was basically punching down at his childhood self for failing to be properly repressed.

the descriptions here remind me a lot of when Andrew Dice Clay hosted SNL

I've never seen the that episode, but Dice Clay's persona was always really brash and obnoxious while Gillis' monologue made me think of a nervous frat boy getting up to crack a few "edgy" jokes at his cousin's wedding.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:49 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]

The thing that really stuck out for me about Clay's appearance (which otherwise could be described as aggressively mediocre) was that he whined when he got heckled--and it was just a little bit of heckling, and not at all unexpected, given that Nora Dunn and Sinead O'Connor skipped the show in protest--instead of having a comeback, which is death for a real comedian.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:44 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]

I thought it was pretty good.
posted by riruro at 5:43 PM on February 28

I saw some screenshotted tweet of horrible people calling out band members individually for not laughing at the monologue

For my part I kept noticing that the band members were clearly not enjoying the monologue, and thinking, "Good for them for not playing along with that crap."

The monologue was probably the worst I've ever seen on SNL, and the writing was really weak on the whole.

Having the guy who was fired for making racist jokes on as host was an incomprehensibly stupid decision. I had no idea who he was going in. If I'd known, I probably would have boycotted the episode as I did the TFG episode.
posted by orange swan at 6:14 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]

Stale at best. Shane Gillis doesn't have a lot of material or range.

Katt Williams was correct about the 'Joe Rogan' comedians, they are just not writing material

And no one thought they could do sketches.

Is podcasting the anti-sketch comedy? There are
A lot of nods to 'look, that was not funny'. But also, you know, it wasn't funny and the move is stale after you do it once

I thought the Jamaican church bit was well done

And the YouTube extra on Liberty Mutual, I laughed
posted by eustatic at 3:21 AM on February 29

And the YouTube extra on Liberty Mutual, I laughed

It got posted to the front page, but the only speaking part is Shane Gillis.
posted by ellieBOA at 8:33 AM on February 29

We ended up fast forwarding through sketches, hoping something good will appear. SNL does do sketches that ride the edge of being sexist/racist/homophobic on a regular basis but they hit wrong in this episode. The shitty monologue set the tone and smeared poop on the rest of the show.

In general, has there ever been a strictly stand-up comic who has done well as a SNL guest? I don't mean screenwriters or actors that also do standup shows, but the people who come up through stand-up, people who mostly get laughed at because alcohol is being served where they usually perform. It seems like there's usually one or two a season and they are mediocre at best.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:37 AM on February 29

John Mulaney?
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:54 PM on February 29 [3 favorites]

Nate Bargatze from this season was pretty great.

Um, Richard Pryor.

Bill Burr was pretty good.

Kevin Hart was pretty good.

Kumail Nanjiani was good - sure he's more an actor now, but he came up through stand-up.

He sucks as a person, but Louis CK was always a well received host. (Again sucks as a person). Same with Dave Chappelle.
posted by General Malaise at 2:09 PM on February 29

i would put Shane Gillis in the category of 'jagoff podcaster' rather than stand up comedian.

if Shane Gillis is a stand up comedian, then Joe Rogan is a stand up comedian. I hope we can all agree that what Mulvaney and Kevin Hart do vs what Joe Rogan does are very different things.
posted by eustatic at 8:01 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]

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