Comic Shane Gillis wasted no time getting back on stage following his firing from the cast of Saturday Night Live on Monday.
Gillis, a Mechanicsburg native, performed an 11-minute comedy set at the The Stand in New York City on Wednesday, Variety reports. During the appearance, Gillis discussed the recent controversy over his addition to the cast of SNL, which the show rescinded days later after clips of the comic using racial and homophobic slurs on a podcast went viral online.
“It’s been weird,” Gillis reportedly said during the set. “Twitter has been f- nuts. You try to stay off it when the whole f- country hates you. That’s not a fun feeling as a human. Especially when you never get to say your side at all.”
Gillis added that he is “fine with the consequences” of the fallout over language used in past episodes of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, which he hosts with Delaware County native Matt McCusker, and joked that he wanted “everyone to know that I’ve been reading every one of my death threats in an Asian accent.”
Another topic of discussion was how Gillis sees people from his native Central Pennsylvania engage with politics versus how his acquaintances in New York do. The difference, he said, is that “all my friends now are woke.”
“I don’t know if you can tell, I’m white trash,” he said, according to Variety. “I’m from a s- hole and then I moved to the city and now all my friends are woke. They’re from Brooklyn. But I still have uncles. They have the Internet, so I’ll get online and the first status will be someone from back home like, ‘F- Colin Kaepernick better stand up. Like this status if you love the troops and God.’ Next status is one of my woke friends like, ‘I’m not racist.’”
Gillis added that “being racist isn’t a yes or no thing,” but is more “like being hungry.”
“You’re not [hungry] right now, but a cheeseburger could cut you off in traffic and you could get hungry real quick,” he said. “You didn’t even know you were hungry for that type of cheeseburger.”
Gillis was added to the cast of SNL’s 45th season late last week alongside comics Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang, who is reportedly the show’s first Asian-American performer. However, controversial comments he made on his podcast specifically targeting people of Asian descent, as well as women and members of the LBGT community, went viral online, causing the show to remove Gillis from the show’s cast.
“After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL,” a statement from a spokesperson representing SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels said. “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.”
Gillis later addressed the situation in a statement posted to his Twitter account, writing that it “feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements.”
“I respect the decision they made. I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity,” Gillis’ statement read. “I was always a mad tv guy anyway.”
Following his firing, former SNL cast members Rob Schneider and Norm Macdonald expressed support for Gillis, as did fellow comics like Jim Norton and Bill Burr.
Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang also chimed in, tweeting that Gillis had “reached out” to him since the start of the controversy, and that the pair would “be sitting down together soon.” Yang previously indicated that he believed firing Gillis from SNL over his comments was not the right decision.
“We would benefit from being more forgiving rather than punitive,” Yang tweeted last week. “We are all human.”