Shane Gillis jokes about Asians, his 'SNL' firing and the hypothetical assassination of Trump in return to stage

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Shane Gillis returned to the stage for the first time since his firing from Saturday Night Live — and it wasn’t flowers and apologies.

The controversial comedian — who was fired days after being hired when racist and homophobic slurs from his podcast, Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast, surfaced — took the stage Wednesday at The Stand NYC for a set. Audience-goers heard him joke about getting the ax from the NBC sketch comedy show, Asians and the hypothetical assassination of President Trump.

“It’s been weird,” he said to the crowd, according to Variety, which said he got a warm reception during the show. “Twitter has been f**king nuts. You try to stay off it when the whole f**king country hates you. That’s not a fun feeling as a human. Especially when you never get to say your side at all.”

Discussing Lorne Michaels cutting him from SNL, Gillis said, "Everybody's like, 'You can't say sh** and not expect consequences,” according to USA Today. "I'm fine with the consequences — that's it, I'm not arguing. But I do want everyone to know that I have been reading every one of my death threats in an Asian accent."

He also talked about getting support from SNL alums Rob Schneider and Norm Macdonald.

Shane Gillis performs onstage at the 2019 Clusterfest in San Francisco on June 21. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest)

"As soon as they decide you're a bad guy, you're just alt-right now or something," Gillis said, according to USA Today. "For real, though, I did not vote for Donald Trump," he said, giving the audience a wink. "Look at me: I didn't, but that was tough. His whole campaign was at me. 'Are you a fat idiot? Yeah, dude, what're we doing?’”

Gillis went on to call Trump “funny.” In fact, "He's funnier than everyone I know. If Trump was the next comic, he'd bury me. He'd come out and be like, 'Fat. Loser. Fired.'"

But he made it clear he wasn’t Team Trump when it came down to it — then delivering a joke about the president’s assassination.

"I don't want you to think I'm too pro-Trump," he said. "I will say this: Of all the presidents I've been alive for, Trump would definitely be the funniest one to see get shot. Like, without a doubt, that'd be funny. I'm not asking for that; I don't want that to happen, but it would be funny to see. He'd be on stage talking sh**, the shooter would be coming at him, and he'd be like, 'Sit down.' He'd definitely make a funny noise when he got hit. … It would be funny."

He wrapped up the 11-minute set by saying that people he knows from his home town of Philadelphia discuss politics and race differently than his friends in NYC.

“I don’t know if you can tell, I’m white trash,” Gillis said, reports Variety. “I’m from a s**thole 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**king Colin Kaepernick better stand up. Like this status if you love the troops and God. Share it if you’re not gay.’ Next status is one of my new woke friends like, ‘I’m not racist.’

He continued, “It’s funny to hear so many people these days be like, ‘I’m not racist.’ Are you sure? Being racist isn’t a yes or no thing. It’s not like you have it or you don’t have it. Being racist is like being hungry. You’re not right now but a cheeseburger could cut you off in traffic and you could get hungry real quick. You didn’t even know you were hungry for that type of cheeseburger. The cheeseburger’s not Asian in that joke.”

Last Thursday, SNL announced that Gills and two others — including the first Asian cast member Bowen Yang — were the snow’s new cast members for the upcoming season. Hours after the announcement, Gillis’s slurs surfaced on Twitter. On Monday, he was fired from the show with Michaels says the show failed in its vetting process.

SNL’s new season — sans Gillis — debuts Sept. 28.

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