A little less than four and a half years after being hired, and then quickly fired from SNL over the use of a racial slur in a 2018 YouTube video, comedian Shane Gillis will be making his way to 30 Rock to host the venerable late-night series.
The announcement was made during tonight’s show hosted by The Bear‘s Ayo Edebiri. Set to join him for the episode on February 24 is musical guest 21 Savage.
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One of today’s most popular comedians, Gillis’ most recent comedy special, Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs, debuted on Netflix last September and charted in the streamer’s Global Top 10 TV (English). His debut special, Shane Gillis: Live in Austin, debuted on YouTube in 2021 and has thus far racked up over 16 million views.
An actor and writer, in addition to a stand-up, Gillis was set to appear as a new featured player on SNL before a video resurfaced in which he used a racial slur against Asians, leading to public outcry. Shortly thereafter, an SNL spokesperson speaking on behalf of creator Lorne Michaels noted that he wouldn’t be joining the program after all.
“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,” they said at the time. “We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. 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.”
After his firing by NBC was announced, Gillis took to Twitter, where he joked that he was “always a Mad TV guy anyway.” Later, he took to Instagram with an apology of sorts. “I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said,” he posted. “My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”
New cast members who went on to join that season of SNL in Gillis’ absence included Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman.
Also well known for his popular podcast Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, co-hosted with friend Matt McCusker, which regularly ranks on Apple’s top podcasts chart and is the No. 1 overall podcast on Patreon, Gillis is also one half of YouTube’s Gilly & Keeves, a sketch series he co-created and co-writes with John McKeever.
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