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'I didn't do it at rehearsal': Shane Gillis explains how he got his hilarious uncensored SNL monologue to air
Photo by: Will Heath/NBC via Getty Images

'I didn't do it at rehearsal': Shane Gillis explains how he got his hilarious uncensored SNL monologue to air

Comedian Shane Gillis explained that the only reason he was allowed to perform his allegedly offensive monologue was a combination of omitting certain words and keeping his content close to his chest.

Gillis' 2024 return to "Saturday Night Live" after being fired in 2019 was met by an incredible outpouring of praise and support. The appearance was immediately followed by Netflix picking up his self-funded sitcom.

The comedian's monologue was not well received by all, however. For example, radio host Dean Obeidallah said that Gillis' jokes "ridicule vulnerable communities," calling him racist and offensive and claiming that he operates in a "world of bigotry."

Gillis made a post-"Saturday Night Live" appearance on the "LOS Podcast," hosted by popular comedians Jay Oakerson, Luis Gomez, and Dave Smith.

Gomez asked Gillis about his monologue and whether the NBC powers that be knew that he was going to use words typically forbidden on network TV.

"Did they know you were going to say 'gay' and 'retarded' in the monologue? They had to, right? They knew it [and] said do what you're going to?"

"No, I didn't do it at rehearsal," Gillis explained. "There was a lot! There was like 'nobody's ever worn a T-shirt, you can't wear a T-shirt, you got to wear a jacket,'" Gillis recalled being told.

"I was like 'I'll wear a watch with it,' they like 'fine,'" he added.

"They didn't know you were going to say gay and ... did they say anything afterwards?" Gomez continued to ask.

"Some people knew. I told the right people," Gillis revealed.

After he was asked if executive producer Lorne Michaels — the man who inspired the character Dr. Evil — knew about the particulars of the jokes, Gillis said "no," with a coy wink.

Gillis further explained, however, that when he tried to reveal the content of his jokes to Michaels, the producer said he didn't want to know.

"He was very supportive, 'cause I kept telling him what I was going to say and he was literally just like 'don't tell me, just do it.' 'Cause he doesn't want to have, I'm sure he didn't want to have any —"

"He wants no accountability?" Gomez interjected as he laughed.

"He was like 'you're here, I trust you,'" Gillis concluded.

Gillis told jokes on the NBC sketch-comedy show about how he has many people with Down syndrome in his family. He then used the word "retarded" in a joke about how it would be a great moment for the country if three black children defended his young niece (who has Down syndrome) after she was insulted by a white child.

Despite apparent offense being taken by some media critics, actor Chris Burke came out in defense of Gillis.

Burke appeared on the TV show "Life Goes On" from 1989 to 1993 as the first actor with Down syndrome to star in a TV series.

TMZ reported that Burke said it would be more offensive for comedians to exclude people with Down syndrome from jokes. He also noted that it didn't seem like Gillis was making jokes out of ignorance.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.

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