Shane Gillis, Fired From ‘SNL’ Over Racist And Homophobic Jokes, Is Coming Back, This Time As Host

It was September 2019, and SNL was supposed to get a new cast member. He was Shane Gillis, an up-and-coming stand-up known for his sometimes “edgy” humor. Alas, the late night sketch show hadn’t fully vetted his past work, which had its share of racist and homophobic jokes. Gillis’ invitation was soon rescinded. The move was cheered on by many, and it seemed like his career was hobbled. Or was it? Gillis has gone on to become an incredibly popular comic, so much so that he’s coming back to SNL, with a twist.

Per Deadline, on SNL’s most recent episode, with Ayo Edebiri, Jennifer Lopez, and for some reason Nikki Haley, it was revealed that for the February 24th show, Gillis would return, this time as host. Alongside him will be musical guest 21 Savage.

Back in 2019, the furor over Gillis’ past bits, some made on podcasts, elicited a rare about-face from SNL.

“We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days,” read a statement put out by SNL brass. “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.”

Gillis responded with a mix of humility and humblebragging. “I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away,” he wrote on Twitter (now, sort of, X). “I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a MADtv guy anyway.”

Since then Gillis’ fortunes have improved. His stand-up special debutm, Shane Gillis: Live in Austin, bowed on YouTube, racking up over 16 million views. His most recent one, Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs, was a Netflix deal, and it charted in the streamer’s Global Top 10 TV (English).

You can watch Gillis’ SNL return, with 21 Savage, on February 24.

(Via Deadline)