Shane Gillis’ ‘SNL’ Firing Looms Over His Hosting Monologue: ‘Don’t Google That’

In the weeks leading up to Shane Gillis’ “Saturday Night Live” hosting debut, one major question dominated conversations about his controversial appearance: Would he address his firing from the show?

Gillis was briefly hired as a member of the “SNL” ensemble cast in 2019, but was removed from the show before appearing in a single episode once old clips of him making racially charged jokes began to resurface. His profile has grown considerably in the years that followed, and he released the popular Netflix special “Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs” in 2023. His success prompted him to be invited back to host “SNL” this year, news that pleased his defenders who saw his firing as an overreaction and disappointed those who called for his removal in the first place.

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When Gillis took the stage in Studio 8H, he subtly addressed the saga before quickly moving on to safer topics.

“I’m here,” he said at the top of the show. “Most of you probably have no idea who I am. I was actually — I was fired from this show a while ago. But, you know, 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.”

But as Gillis worked his way through material about his blue collar background and unlikely comedic success, he noted that many of his jokes didn’t land the way he anticipated.

“I come from a long line of coaches. My father is actually a volunteer assistant girls high school basketball coach,” he said, pointing to his father in the audience before feigning surprise that the audience didn’t laugh at him. “I thought it was funny, alright. You don’t think it’s funny to bring my dad here to make fun of him for being a girl’s high school basketball coach? I thought it was great. Never mind. I thought that was gonna be a big hit”

He addressed his increasing discomfort as the monologue went on, noting that his raunchy brand of humor does not necessarily translate to network television.

“Look, I don’t have any material that can be on TV,” he said at one point. “I’m trying my best. This place is extremely well-lit, so I can see everyone not enjoying it.”

Watch Gillis’ “SNL” monologue below.

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