Neal Brennan Details Sketch He Pitched SNL in the Wake of Shane Gillis’ Firing

When Saturday Night Live hired Shane Gillis as a featured player in 2019 only to let him go days later, it was big news. So much so that the show apparently considered referencing it on air.

Appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast this week, comedian Neal Brennan revealed a meta sketch he wrote for the show that week.

“The week Shane got fired—whatever, unhired—I thought of a sketch, and I was gonna be in New York.” Brennan, who co-created and co-wrote Chappelle’s Show with Dave Chappelle, explained. “I have sort of like an open-door policy at SNL where I could just write, because I wrote there with Dave. So I had a sketch idea…”

He went on to explain the premise: “It was a couple… They’re in bed, and they’re like, ‘So any, um, STDs you want to tell me about?’ And they’re like, ‘No I’m clean.’”

Then would come the character’s follow-up question: “Any, uh, podcasts?”

“It was a good idea…” Brennan said of the sketch. “We wrote it, and then it kind of got shelved… My understanding was some of the people at the show didn’t appreciate [it].”

Gillis’ hiring to the SNL cast was announced in September 2019, ahead of the show’s season 45 premiere. But after past homophobic, sexist, and racist comments that Gillis had made on his podcast quickly surfaced, he was let go four days later, before ever appearing on the show.

Gillis found fame on his own as a strandup comic and apparently maintened positive relations with Lorne Michaels and others at Saturday Night Live, opening the door to him returning to host the show earlier this this year.

“I was fired from this show a while ago…” he said during his monologue. “Don’t look that up, please.” It was SNL’s first on-air reference to the hiring debacle.

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