Saturday Night Live has rarely held back from making a joke simply because someone might get offended by it, and the country’s current political climate hasn’t stopped them before. However, the show didn’t come out of its most recent episode unscathed, with outspoken SNL star Pete Davidson drawing heat for jokes made about Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL who lost an eye on a tour in Afghanistan.
Dan Crenshaw, who retired as a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, took to social media to call out SNL for the comments.
All things considered, Dan Crenshaw’s response was as cordial and matter-of-fact as anything resembling a complaint can get. Rather than poking back at the series or Pete Davidson, he merely expressed a hope that Saturday Night Live isn’t the kind of show that condones its stars setting up veterans’ injuries as comedic fodder.
For those who didn’t watch the episode on Saturday night, the “Weekend Update” segment featured Michael Che passing the focus onto Pete Davidson, who shared his first impressions of various candidates vying for the most votes in the midterm election.
For what it’s worth, some believe that the end of the Crenshaw gag — in which Davidson gets tripped up and repeats “Whatever…” — was the comedian recognizing the joke’s poor taste and just having to move beyond it, as opposed to attempting a more genuine apology. It was a pretty awkward moment punctuating a pretty awkward bit, and Davidson’s face seems to reflect that momentarily before he went on to talk about Andrew Cuomo.
Dan Crenshaw didn’t seem to be particularly offended by Pete Davidson’s comments on SNL, pointing out that it’s not second-nature behavior for him. Someone who had more to say about the matter, though, was Davidson’s Saturday Night Live co-star Kenan Thompson, currently the longest-lasting cast member on the NBC mainstay.
Speaking with Today, Kenan Thompson essentially said that Pete Davidson was in the wrong for joking about Dan Crenshaw’s war injury. However, Thompson was also somewhat forgiving of the situation in general, saying that unfortunate incidents like that are often a result of comedians just trying to see what makes people laugh.
Find out how Dan Crenshaw and many other candidates do on Election Day by tuning into your local stations, as well as all the usual cable news networks. Find how out SNL‘s next episode goes by tuning in Saturday nights on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET. To see what other shows are in need of viewers, check out our fall TV premiere schedule.