Unfunny Racist SNL Hire Shane Gillis Hopes His Non-Apology Will Save His Career
Yesterday, Saturday Night Live announced three new hires for its upcoming 45th season: Bowen Yang, the show's very first East Asian cast member, Chloe Fineman, a woman, and Shane Gillis, some tool who enjoys making terrible racist jokes about Asian people and claiming that women are not funny.
After the announcement, freelance writer Seth Simmons posted a video of Gillis on his podcast ("Matt And Shane's Secret Podcast"), from September of 2018, in which he and whoever the hell Matt is made a stunning variety of gross Chinese jokes, did bad impressions of Chinese people talking, referred to Chinese people as "ch*nks," whined about the existence of Chinatown, and said a bunch of stupid shit about MSG.
Not the point, I realize, but the whole "MSG makes you dizzy and gives you headaches!" thing is some extremely racist nonsense. Glutamate, the source of umami flavor, is in, like, 90 percent of all delicious foods (cheese! soup! tomatoes! anchovies! proshoot! bacon! fish sauces!), and if those don't make you "dizzy" and give you a headache, then you are full of shit. Hell, there is more glutamate in Italian food than there is in Chinese food.
As of right now, Gillis still has his job on SNL. One would think, in this day and age, that there would be some form of background checks for these types of jobs, but I guess not!
In another clip from their show, Matt and Shane make a bunch of stupid jokes about how Judd Apatow and Chris Gethard are "white fa**ot comics" and "gayer than ISIS" and then proceed to rank the "funniness" of stand-up comics by gender, race, and sexual orientation
"Black chicks are very funny, especially when they're sassy…. White chicks are literally the bottom. Ali Wong is making it so Asian chicks are funnier than white chicks."
In a statement on Twitter, Gillis apologized "to anyone who's actually offended," explaining that he's just a comedian who likes to "push boundaries."
Racist jokes, gay jokes and "hur dur women aren't funny" comments do not make for a comic that "pushes boundaries." They make Jerry Fucking Lewis. Who died two years ago at the age of 91.
No one gravitates to "comedy" like that because it's hilarious or because it's "boundary pushing." It's been done a thousand times before. They do it because it's easy. In fact, that's the whole reason why dumb ass frat bros always pitch a fit when someone like Shane Gillis gets torched. It's not because they are so faaaaabulously devoted to the "art" or sharp-witted humor of going "ching chong ding dong" or their best "gay voice" or whatever. It's because they're not actually funny and that is the way they get laughs from their equally unfunny friends. Without it, they've got nothing.
People like being funny. Being funny feels good. People laughing at something you've said feels good. But not everyone is funny, and some of those unfunny people rely on cheap, racist, sexist, homophobic bullshit that racist, sexist, homophobic boring people have said for over 100 years, in hopes of getting those laughs without actually having to put the work into coming up with something clever. They're lazy.
Shane Gillis does not simply deserve to lose his spot on SNL because he's a racist, sexist, homophobic twerp. He should lose it because he's not funny. Excruciatingly unfunny, in fact. I can walk down the street and find five people, at least, who are funnier than Shane Gillis. Perhaps SNL might want to try that next season, they'd probably have better luck.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse