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Comedian fired over racist joke uses another awful slur in alarming TV comeback

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Comedian Shane Gillis has returned to Saturday Night Live after he was sacked from the show in 2019 when his homophobic and racist remarks were unearthed from a podcast episode aired the year before.

The 36-year-old took to the stage last night and immediately confronted the axe, as he said: ‘I’m here. Most of you probably have no idea who I am. I was actually fired from this show, but don’t look that up, please.

‘If you don’t know who I am please don’t Google that. It’s fine, don’t even worry about it,’ he said.

In the set, he went on to joke about members of his family who have Down’s syndrome, and while doing so he used an offensive slur.

‘I don’t know if you can tell by looking at me but I do have family members with Down’s syndrome. it almost got me,’ he said, looking slightly stricken from the muffled response from the audience. He repeated this kind of defensive response on another occasion in the set, hinting that perhaps the audience was less forgiving than it sounds online.

‘Look I don’t have any material that can be on TV right. I’m trying my best. This place is very well-lit I can see everyone not enjoying it,’ he said, before explaining how people – like his niece – who have Down’s syndrome are happier, and they are also the most popular members of his family.

Shane Gillis was fired from Saturday Night Live in 2019 (Picture: SNL)
He’s now returned to the show (Picture: Rosalind O’Connor/NBC via Getty Images)

He then joked about how his sister adopted three Black children and married an Egyptian man, so visiting their house was ‘like getting in the craziest Uber pool you’ve ever been in.’

Imagining his niece being bullied at school by a white kid, Gillis said: ‘I would say when my niece is probably in fifth or sixth grade out of recess, some white kids out there would say, “Hey, you’re not alowed to play with us, you’re r*****ed.”‘

Gillis then joked that ‘three Black kids come flying out of nowhere and just start whaling on that cracker’ would be a ‘nice moment’, which got a cheer and clap from the audience.

Explaining how his family opened a coffee shop in their home town for people with Down’s syndrome to work at, Gillis joked how everyone keeps on being served apple juice and they ‘don’t know how to fix that’ problem.

He also described himself, in the context of his childhood love for his mum, as being ‘gay’.

‘You remember when you were just a gay little boy?’ he asked the audience, continuing: ‘Every little boy is just their mum’s gay best friend. There’s literally zero difference. I was gay for my mum.’

While the audience were heard laughing – whether uncomfortably or not – at Gillis’ comeback performance, behind him the musicians looked less than impressed.

A picture of this icy reaction from those on stage behind him went viral, as X user @secretinvasionn shared a zoomed-in clip of them looking stoney-faced and commented: ‘This Shane Gillis SNL reaction.’

The podcaster has kept a high profile since the 2019controversy (Picture: By Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest)

Since he was fired from the show, Gillis has continued to make his podcast – Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast – which has over 80,000 paid listeners on Patreon, according to Washington Post.

He also launched a web series with John McKeever, released two comedy specials, toured the USA and not long ago partnered with Bud Light.

He’s also appeared on Joe Rogan’s controversial podcast, which reportedly reaches around 11million listeners, which according to The New Yorker is around twice as much as SNL.

‘I don’t want to be a victim, I want to be a comedian,’ he told Rogan in 2021, while talking about the right-wing demographic painting him as a freedom of speech martyr.

‘So I don’t want to come on and do stuff where I’m, like, “Yeah, it was unfair how I was treated.” It’s like, no, I get it, I understand why I was treated that way. I said wild sh*t. I’m going to keep saying wild sh*t,’ he said.

Gillis was fired after audio emerged from 2018 of him making anti-Asian remarks such as ‘ch*nks’ to his podcast co-host Matt McCusker, while adding: ‘Chinatown’s f***ing nuts.’

The episode also featured the pair imitating Asian accents and mocking Asian people and Chinese food.

Other footage shows Gillis making sexist, Islamophobic and homophobic comments, such as ‘f****t’.

He made an offensive slur in his comeback gig (Picture:SNL)

Shane tweeted an apology for his remarks, saying: ‘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.’

When he was fired in 2016, a spokesperson for SNL said on behalf of executive producer Lorne Michaels: ‘After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL.

‘We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for SNL.

‘We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days.’

They continued: ‘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 also addressed his dismissal and sharing a statement on Twitter, he said: ‘It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements but here we are.

‘I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get on SNL. That can’t be taken away.

‘Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made.’

He added: ‘I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a Mad TV guy anyway.’

Metro.co.uk has reached out to SNL for comment.

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