Norm Macdonald Responds to New Comedian Shane Gillis's 'SNL' Firing: 'This Means WAR'



In case you haven’t heard, a new comedian was hired by Saturday Night Live.

In case you haven’t heard, a new comedian was fired from Saturday Night Live.


That guy was given the boot for, in the words of, “negative commentary about Asian-Americans.”

Here’s how The Atlantic put it:

“I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.” That was new Saturday Night Live cast member Shane Gillis’s attempt at a mea culpa, posted to Twitter at 10:45 p.m. last night, for the trove of racist and homophobic remarks that was being newly circulated and dissected online hours after his hiring was announced. Even by the standards of the self-serving “phantom apology” many public figures rely on these days, the statement was flimsy. It’s hard to watch the clips in question—including one in which Gillis uses the phrase “f*****g Chinks”—and to then accept the comedian’s explanation that he was merely pushing the boundaries and taking the risks required to create great comedy.

In case it wasn’t clear, nothing in the extended digressions about Chinatown or what counts as (in Gillis’s words) “nice racism” qualifies as great comedy; it doesn’t even rise to the level of intelligible conversation.

Part of the problem, according to Fast Company, may be Donald Trumpish:

Gillis is a man in his early-thirties who came from what he has called a “white trash” town (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) before moving on to Philadelphia and eventually New York. In his recent stand-up, Gillis comes off like a New York naif who sees his bubble-bound neighbors through Trump Country eyes, but is possibly learning a little about himself from them as well. This narrative might have been a line drive of a sitcom pitch for the network that gave Roseanne Barr a show in 2018, but in real life it sort of turned out the same way as that whole mess.


But some people think the firing is pitiful, and one of them’s Norm Macdonald:

“Of course you know, this means WAR.”

Norm knows a bit about getting canned for things he’s said: His guest spot on The Tonight Show was removed late last year for displaying empathy toward beleaguered stars Louis C.K. and Roseanne (here).

He’s also a little familiar with getting fired from SNL, as he was yanked from the famed “Weekend Update” segment in the late 90’s.

Norm reached out to Shane directly, with a reference to Seth Simons, the journalist who initially posted Shane’s old jokes:

The outrage machine indeed seems out for comedic blood.

In my opinion, the 1-2 punch against performers at the moment is a combination of A) A generation which doesn’t seem to understand the concept of a joke — that would be, something not meant to be taken seriously — and B) A witch-hunt mentality ready to dig into the past for any infraction.


In his latest Netflix special, Sticks and Stones, Dave Chappelle impersonated the new woke audience:

“If you do anything wrong in your life, and I find out about it, I’m gonna try and take everything away from you. … If I find out, you’re ****ing finished.”

Others are voicing their malcontent over Shane’s firing, including the great Rob Schneider:

But some appear glad he was tossed:


Other users lamented the Woke Age’s state of comedy:

How many stars would never have made it, if such rules had been applied in the past?

Multiple tweeters pointed to one of the greatest stars to come out of SNL:

I think they’re right. The mob is raging. And it only seems to be getting angrier as it goes.

Putting the issue of Shane’s particular words aside, if it continues, eventually, comedy’s gonna be a joke.



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