Saturday, April 13, 2024

Bizarre: “SNL” Next Host Un-cancelled Was Fired From Show in 2019 Before He Started, Plus Fans Outraged About Nikki Haley Appearance


Shane Gillis is hosting “SNL” on February 24th.

Gillis was fired from the cast in 2019 before the season started when videos were uncovered of him saying ugly things about Chinese people and making racist references to Chinatown. At other times, Gillis used homophobic and sexist language.

The comic was cancelled at least on “SNL.” But now that he’s become a hit on Netflix, the show is forgetting all that ever happened.

Gillis’s rise on Netflix seems unusual, but the streaming service is pursuing comedians in a huge way. Last night, CEO Ted Sarandos hosted a party at his home here in LA for 30 comics. Even Sarah Silverman was there, and her specials are on HBO. But everyone from Chris Rock to Tiffany Haddish was present. “It was an all star night,” said one guest.

When Gillis was fired from “SNL,” Lorne Michaels said in a statement that the language Gillis used was “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable” and that the show was “not aware of his prior remarks.” “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining ‘S.N.L.,’” the statement said.

The Gillis host appearance news comes on the heels of Nikki Haley making a controversial cameo on the show last night. She was mocking her famous “do you know what caused the Civil War?” answer in a town hall. This time around, “The Bear” star Ayo Edebiri played the questioner, continuing the question by saying “it starts with sl and ends with avery.” Haley replied “that’s what I should have said.”

Why in the world would Lorne Michaels allow Haley a chance to repair her image on that show? I suspect this was a divisive moment not just for the audience but the cast. Edebiri, who’s beloved at the moment, is going to be asked about that a lot in the future.

But let’s not forget Donald Trump once hosted “SNL.”

Also of note on “SNL” last night: Jennifer Lopez lip syncing. Always fun to see the smoke machine, the hair flying around, the gyrating dancers all trying to distract from the spectacle of JLo. She’s done everything to sell her new record, and no one’s buying it.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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