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5 Things to Know About the Fired ‘SNL’ Comedian – Hollywood Life

Shane Gillis




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Image Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bob Woodruff Foundation

Shane Gillis and Saturday Night Live didn’t part ways on the best of terms in 2019. Four years after the comedy show fired him, the Pennsylvania native is returning to Studio 8H on February 24, 2024, to host the show. So, why was he fired from the comedy series? Keep reading to learn everything we know about Shane, his career and his past with SNL. 

Shane Gillis Played Football  

Shane is a comedian, a sketch comedy writer and a podcaster. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he played on his high school’s football team as an offensive tackle. After briefly attending West Point, Shane left during his first year and played football for Elon University for one year. Eventually, he transferred to West Chester University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. 

He Was a Teacher in Europe

Upon graduating from college, Shane taught English in Spain for six months. He didn’t officially start stand-up until 2012, performing in several towns in his home state, including Harrisburg and Lancaster, and eventually moving to Philadelphia. 

Shane Was Hired as a Featured ‘SNL’ Cast Member

Less than 10 years into his comedy career, Shane was announced as a featured cast member in 2019 alongside stars Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman. However, shortly after the announcement, clips resurfaced on social media of Shane making controversial comments. 

Shane Got Fired From ‘Saturday Night Live’

Social media users pointed to clips of Shane using a racial slur to describe people of Asian descent. In one episode of his podcast, “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast,” with comedian Matt McCusker, Shane was heard saying, “Let the f**king ch***s live there” and mimicked a Chinese accent. 

After NBC got word of Shane’s past comments, a spokesperson for SNL released a statement, which read, “After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL. 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.”

In response to his firing, Shane took to X (formerly Twitter) at the time to defend himself. 

“I’m a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss,” he wrote. “I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said.”

Shane also wrote, “If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you’re going to find a lot of bad misses … My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks.”

He Has Released His Own Stand-Up Specials

Despite the career setback, Shane released his own comedy specials over the years. In September 2021, he released his first live stand-up performance, Shane Gillis: Live in Austin, to Youtube. Two years later, his second live special, Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs, premiered on Netflix in September 2023.




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