Saturday Night Live has become well-known for being a left-leaning comedy show that makes no apologies for poking fun at those in power. But in the case of Lt. Commander Dan Crenshaw, even the boundary-pushing SNL host Pete Davidson agreed that saying sorry was absolutely non-negotiable.
Last week, Davidson was shrouded in a media firestorm over some wildly inappropriate and offensive remarks he made about the wounded war veteran and recently elected congressman. Crenshaw sports an eye patch after losing one of his eyes in a explosion while serving in Afghanistan.
“You may be surprised to hear he’s a Congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie,” Davidson said in his original remarks.”I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever.”
Well, Crenshaw, a Republican, went on to win his seat in Congress, becoming the House representative for Texas’s 2nd Congressional District. As you can imagine, the backlash against Davidson was swift and severe.
However, though Crenshaw himself did not demand an apology from Davidson or SNL, it appears that the show, ahead of Veteran’s Day weekend, went above and beyond to show its appreciation for Crenshaw’s sacrifice.
“I mean this from the bottom of my heart, it was a poor choice of words,” Davidson said in Saturday night’s show. He continued, batting away the laughter which was a clear attempt to dispel the rightly awkward moment. “The man is a war hero and he deserves all the respect in the world,” he added.
“If any good came of this, maybe it was that for one day the left and right finally came together to agree on something – that I’m a d***.”
At this point, Lt. Com. Dan Crenshaw rolled into shot on a chair, “you think?” he quipped.
“Thanks for coming,” Davidson said. “Thanks for making a Republican look good,” Crenshaw responded.
Davidson then explained why Crenshaw is forced to wear an eye patch, which was, incidentally, the punch line of the SNL hosts’ original jab. “The reason you’re wearing an eye patch right now is that you lost your eye to an IED in Afghanistan on your third combat tour. So, I’m sorry,” said the comic.
“We’re good, apology accepted,” Crenshaw responded. Then, with a simple ringtone, the roasting began. As Crenshaw’s phone started to ring, the audience erupted in laughter, recognizing the ringtone as Ariana Grande’s hit song “Breathin.” In recent weeks, Davidson has been at the center of a media storm surrounding his break-up with the pop megastar.
“It sounds like my phone’s ringing,” Crenshaw said quizzically, as the audience continued to laugh hysterically. “You gonna answer that?” Davidson asked. “Nah, I’m just gonna let it ring and go to voicemail,” Crenshaw fired back.
“Do you know her?” Crenshaw questioned.
Then, in a bid to put the past behind them, Davidson invited the war hero to give his own take on the appearance of the grey-haired comic. A picture flashed up of Davidson looking slightly haggard. “This is Pete Davidson. He looks like if the meth from Breaking Bad was a person,” Crenshaw stated. The crowd erupted once again.
Davidson thinks Crenshaw is done, but he couldn’t be more wrong. The savagery continued.
“He looks like a troll doll with tapeworm,” Crenshaw added. “Ok, yeah man, we should wrap this up,” Davidson quickly remarked.
But Crenshaw kept going. “One more,” he said. “He looks like Martin Short in Santa Claus 3,” he said, before adding, “by the way, one of these was actually good on SNL.”
Then, as the laughter died down, the military man reminded viewers of something so vitally important.
“But seriously,” he said. “There are a lot of lessons to learn here. Not just that the left and right can agree on some things. But also this: Americans can forgive one another. We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other. This is Veteran’s Day weekend. It is a good time for every American to connect with a veteran. Maybe say thanks for your service.”
“But I would encourage you to say something else: ‘never forget.” When you say this, you are implying that, as an American, you are in it with them. Not separated by some imaginary barrier between civilians and veterans, but connected together as grateful fellow Americans.”
Never Forget. pic.twitter.com/avgpXIdGpK
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) November 12, 2018
“We will never forget the sacrifices made by veterans past and present, and never forget those we lost on 9/11, heroes like Pete’s father.”
Davidson’s Dad, Scott, was a New York City firefighter who was lost during the September 11 terror attacks. The comic, who was just 11-years-old when his father died, has spoken out about his experience of profound grief and depression following his death.
“I’ve been in and out of mental health facilities since I was nine,” the 24-year-old said in an interview with Variety. “I tried to drown myself in the pool when I was in the fourth or fifth grade. I was trying to get my head stuck in the ladder in the deep end, so I would not be able to get up.”
At the end of the powerful segment, Crenshaw offered an olive branch to the troubled comic.
“So I will just say ‘Pete, never forget,'” the veteran concluded, stretching out a hand. “Never forget,” Davidson agreed.