Why Shane Gillis Told ‘SNL’ Viewers Not to Google His Firing From the Show

After getting ousted from ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 2019, Shane made an uncomfortable return to Studio 8H as host of the Feb. 24, 2024, episode.


Feb. 26 2024, Published 3:49 p.m. ET

Years after Shane Gillis was fired from Saturday Night Live, he hosted the episode on Feb. 24, 2024, in what may be both his first and last appearance on the NBC show.

In his monologue, Shane seemed insecure about the live audience’s response, saying things like “I thought it was funny,” “I thought that was gonna be a big hit here,” and “I thought that was gonna get a bigger laugh.”

He added, “I’m trying my best. Also, this place is extremely well-lit. I can see everyone not enjoying it.”

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Shane did acknowledge his firing during that uneasy monologue. “But, you know, don’t look that up, please,” he hastened to add. “Please don’t Google that.”

And then he proceeded to make gay jokes and jokes about his family members with Down syndrome, even dropping the R-word at one point. “Look, I don’t have any material that can be on TV, alright?” he said.

Here’s why Shane is such a persona non grata for many viewers.

Shane Gillis performs onstage during the 17th Annual Stand Up for Heroes on Nov. 6, 2023
Source: Getty Images
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Why was Shane Gillis fired from ‘SNL’?

Saturday Night Live announced in September 2019 that Shane was joining the cast as a featured player alongside Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, who are still on the show as full-fledged repertory players.

Later that same day, however, social media users started shedding light on racist and homophobic jokes he had made. In podcast episodes, Shane made racist jokes and used a racist slur in commentary about Chinese people and made gay jokes and used an anti-gay slur, as The Hollywood Reporter recapped at the time.

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Shane responded to the controversy on Twitter writing, “I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of bad misses. I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said. My intention is never to hurt anyone, but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be, and sometimes that requires risks.”

‘Saturday Night Live’ found Shane's language “offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable.”

Days later came the news that Shane had been fired from SNL. A spokesperson for the show said Shane was hired “on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition” but that the show was “not aware” of his racist and homophobic jokes, per THR.

“The language he used is offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable,” the spokesperson observed. “We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.”

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Shane responded to his ouster on Twitter, saying that he wanted to prove himself on SNL but understood that his involvement would be a distraction. “I respect the decision they made,” he added. “I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity.”

Then Shane’s statement took a turn for the disingenuous. “I was always a Mad TV guy anyway,” he said, name-dropping the title of a former SNL competitor.

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