What a difference a half-decade makes.
Five years ago, “Saturday Night Live” fired comedian Shane Gillis before he performed in a single skit, claiming he had made jokes that were simply too “offensive” for the New York comedy scene.
But nothing succeeds like success — and even the libs at “SNL” know it.
On Saturday, the show announced that Gillis is coming back for a guest host spot on Feb. 24 — proving that even the most morally superior outlook takes a back seat when it comes to scoring television ratings.
Next show!!! pic.twitter.com/P6J6QQqOFY
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) February 4, 2024
It’s not just “SNL” that’s turning to Gillis. As the New York Post reported on Thursday, beleaguered Bud Light has partnered with the comedian to try to revive the brand’s fortunes after its disastrous, self-inflicted wound with transgender “influencer” Dylan Mulvaney (whose greatest influence was turning the country’s former No. 1 beer brand into a pariah for self-respecting Americans).
So, what is Gillis doing that’s getting the attention of people who used to pride themselves on pandering to the country’s left-wing politics?
He’s succeeding in the world of comedy — including regular appearances on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast — with his own brand of humor. And it’s the same kind of humor the shrinking violets of “Saturday Night Live” claimed to find so “offensive” in 2019.
Besides comedy bookings, his special “Shane Gillis Live in Austin” has wracked up more than 23 million viewers in the two years it’s been on YouTube.
For critics of the kind of cancel culture that got Gillis fired in 2019, for fighters against the mania for “woke” represented by Bud Light’s Mulvaney mistake, the news of Gillis’ return to “SNL” should be treated as a win.
It’s not a question of whether the jokes “SNL” found so offensive in 2019 were offensive. Humor is a subjective thing.
(For the record, then-Democratic presidential contender Andrew Yang — a target of Gillis’ barbed humor — defended the comedian at the time.)
It’s because it’s proof positive that Gillis has turned to tables on the show that once turned him away.
And the Gillis brand hasn’t changed in the interval, as the “Live in Austin” special shows:
WARNING: The video below contains vulgar language and topics some viewers might find uncomfortable. On the flip side, a lot of viewers are going to think it’s hilarious. You make the call.
One of the first jokes talks about a Gillis visit to a barber shop near his house run by a barber from the Dominican Republic.
“I’m thinking, ‘I’m the first white guy that’s ever been in there,'” he said, about the 1:40 mark. “And they f***ed me up, dude.
“If you’re white, don’t get a Dominican haircut. You end up just looking more racist.”
Aside from the vulgarity, that’s not offensive by any normal standard, of course (even Dominican barbers should get a kick out of it).
But he’s clearly not a man who’s afraid to make jokes about race. The bigger point is that no matter how crazy the time becomes — whether it’s the witch hunt insanity of the #MeToo era or the McCarthyesque denunciations of cancel culture — at some point the fever is going to break.
“Saturday Night Live” is a once-great comedy show that’s become a shadow of its former self. It makes the news now less for its standout moments than for its politicized bombs — like the cold open that brought on GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley over the weekend, or its truly atrocious take on Ivy League anti-Semitism.
This is a step in the right direction.
Hiring Gillis for a guest spot isn’t going to turn the “SNL” ship around any more than Bud Light partnering with the comedian proves the suits at Anheuser Busch really learned their lesson about leftist marketing.
But it does show just how weak the leftist narrative — that seems bent on suffocating every conservative living in the country — actually is.
Bud Light has learned that lesson. The “SNL” honchos maybe learned it too.
And with luck and hard work, the whole country will learn it in November — when success is going to really matter.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.