Pete Davidson ‘SNL’ Joke Draws Controversy, Kenan Thompson Says He ‘Missed the Mark’
The big entertainment story of the weekend centered around Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, whose Weekend Update set about the midterm elections and his “first impressions” of some of the candidates drew major controversy because of his jokes about Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw. Crenshaw, who’s running for Congress, lost an eye fighting in Afghanistan and wears an eyepatch. Davidson made a joke about his appearance (“You may be surprised to hear he’s a Congressional candidate from Texas, and not a hitman in a porno movie.”) and then made light of the fact that he “lost his eye in war, or whatever.”
Davidson’s joke was bad, and his hand-waving about how Crenshaw lost the eye was arguably much worse. Online outrage swiftly followed; Crenshaw himself tweeted that veterans “don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.”
On Monday, fellow SNL cast member Kenan Thompson weighed in on the situation while appearing on The Today Show to promote his role in the upcoming movie The Grinch. Thompson said Davidson has a “big heart” and didn’t mean to offend — but he also said he believed he “missed the mark” with his joke. Thompson’s father served in Vietnam, and he said he would “personally never necessarily go there, but it’s tough when you’re fishing for jokes” at SNL.
Davidson hasn’t commented on the controversy so far, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet the show will address it somehow this weekend, when Liev Schreiber hosts with musical guest Lil Wayne. What are the odds of a Dan Crenshaw cameo?