Read the complete transcript of what Shane Gillis said on the Joe Rogan podcast after getting fired from SNL. Shane Gillis explains the SNL controversy in complete detail.
Back in September 2019, Shane Gillis was fired by NBC merely days after the network confirmed he would become a part of Saturday Night Live for its 45th season, following past disparage and bigoted comments he made on his podcast were publicly disclosed.
A spokesperson on behalf of SNL creator Lorne Michaels said:
After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL. We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as a comedian and his impressive audition for SNL.
The person added,
We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard.
What Did Shane Gillis Say About SNL Firing Controversy on Joe Rogan Podcast?
Shane Gillis was a recent guest on the Joe Rogan podcast where he highlighted everything that happened behind the scenes when he got fired from SNL for comments he made on his own podcast.
Check out the complete transcript below.
Joe Rogan: What was your experience like with the whole SNL debacle thing?
Shane Gillis: Uh, it’s very, very crazy, I don’t know, it’s tough. There are not many people that you can even talk to about it, you know, because it f&&&& you up a little like it makes you not trust people for a while.
Joe Rogan: Like in what way?
Shane Gillis: I don’t know, I don’t know how to explain it. But back to the main, the experience of it was like it was kind of surreal because I went from one of the first people to get like canceled or however you want to say consequences.
It doesn’t matter what we call, but I was one of the first people to go from (what) I was doing; I was poor, I was not famous at all; I was poor and then I got canceled immediately like that was right, it was very different.
I got canceled immediately. They literally were like how about this guy and everyone was like, “no!”
Joe Rogan: So you got cast on SNL and then what happened?
Shane Gillis: So, I found out I was getting on SNL the day before they announced it. I got a call and they’re like, ‘Hey, we want to put you on the cast.’ The whole time I was like we’ll start from the top. My agents and all those people were like do you want to audit or do you want to write? Do you want to send a packet in for SNL and I was like, ‘No, I’m not going to be a writer. I’m never going to. I won’t work on that show.’
And then I guess they saw me at JFL and Comedy Central thing and they were like, ‘We like him, we want him to audition. He can come straight in to audition.’ So, I went straight to the main stage for the audition, and the whole time leading up to it I was like, ‘I’m never going to get this. I don’t care. I want to do stand-up.’
I kind of hated SNL at that point because every sketch was like, you know, you know what it is and then I was like I’ll never fit in there, and then when you go to audition it’s just you wait your turn in a green room and they keep you there extra long for like two or three hours to make you nervous.
Joe Rogan: Really?
Shane Gillis: But I knew, I was certain I was never gonna get it. And I really wasn’t nervous. I was in there f&&&&&& dipping hanging out and then they were like, ‘Alright, it’s your turn to go.’
But that’s when the nerves hit like you walk in and you see the main stage because that’s what you audition on is like the stage. And it’s a totally empty studio; the whole room’s empty except for a table of writers and producers and Lorne Michaels and then you go on and they’re like ‘three, two, go do five minutes!’
Joe Rogan: Wow.
Shane Gillis: In front of just a camera, right.
Joe Rogan: And are you doing stand-up?
Shane Gillis: I did stand up. I did five minutes of stand-up. That’s all. And then I ran into Michael Che that night and I was like so nervous when I was auditioning that I had to like hold the mic against my chin because my hand was f&&&&& shaking.
It was crazy. There’s no one in the room, you just have to do stand up for five minutes to no one.
Joe Rogan: That’s so weird.
Shane Gillis: It was so weird and you’re not supposed to look at or acknowledge the table of writers and producers or whatever.
Joe Rogan: What, they have rules?
Shane Gillis: They have rules that your agents tell you, they never told you any rules.
Joe Rogan: So your agent says, ‘Do not look at the writers!’
Shane Gillis: Yeah, they’re like, don’t even acknowledge them, pretend the room’s full, just go, and everybody was like they’re never gonna laugh. The table, Lorne, all of them, they’re not gonna laugh.
The first thing I said they all started laughing and I was like I was supposed to not acknowledge him, but you know I was doing stand-up.
Joe Rogan: Do you remember what you said?
Shane Gillis: No, I don’t, genuinely.
Joe Rogan: So, you just did a bit?
Shane Gillis: Yeah, I was nervous, but as soon as they started laughing, I went back to you know what I mean, I was like looking at them I could see they were laughing and I was told the whole time no one’s gonna laugh. They were laughing and I was like, ‘Oh f&&&, I did pretty good.’
Ran into Che that night I was like, ‘I sucked, I was nervous.’ He was like, ‘No, you were not. That was good.’ Then a couple of days later, you get a callback and you go into the office and you meet everybody and you walk around and talk to everybody and the people I was with were also doing that.
Then you go into Lorne Michael’s office to meet him, so the three people I was with all went in slowly, met him, left. One guy didn’t even get invited in. They just sent him home which is f&&&&& up. They invited him to the callback and then they were like no, never mind.
Joe Rogan: Wow.
Shane Gillis: And then they kept me there for an extra like hour by myself and I was just sitting there like, ‘Oh, s&&&. I got this like I’m gonna be on it. I can’t believe I got this.’ I wasn’t even excited, I was just like this is wild, this is f&&&&&& nuts and then I go in and meet with Lorne.
He’s the man, he’s a nice guy and he was like I’m gonna use you but I don’t know how and like all that s&&& and then time passes and I figured they were gonna ask me to be a writer because that’s usually how it goes. Usually, you work on the show to experience what the show’s like but I don’t know I didn’t want to be a writer.
Joe Rogan: By all accounts that place is a den of thieves. You hear Jim Brewer’s account of the climate in that place and it’s horrific. They’re all stealing from writers. They’re stealing from performers. If you’re a writer and you submit your packages the higher up writers will steal your s&&&, according to Brewer.
If you submit a package, they own that package even if they don’t hire. So if you have some great premises, they decide they’re just going to take your premises and not hire you. They own all those bits. It’s crazy.
Shane Gillis: Yeah, I mean, I don’t care about writing. I didn’t want to be a writer. So, I was like even if they offered me the writing thing, I don’t want to take it. I think I would have at the time, but anyway they asked me to go straight to cast, so I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll definitely do that!’
Lauren calls, says, ‘Hey, we want to use you on the show. We’re going to announce it tomorrow.’ He was like, ‘Do you have anything you want us to check out?’ They have people that vet you right but they’re not used to people having podcasts. They go through your Facebook, your Instagram, your Twitter. I was just like I’ll just delete all that. f&&& that, I don’t care. I’ll delete it at all, right.
But I was like I also have a podcast and they’re like, ‘Yeah, what’s that?’ And I was like I don’t know, I say like gay and re&&&& a lot. And they were like, ‘Oh, that’s fine. Don’t worry about it.’ So, I was like all right we’ll see. So, the day they announced it was cool, it was very cool.
You hear from everybody you’ve ever grown up with they’re all like, ‘Holy&&&& like I can’t believe you’re on this.’ And then that lasted for about three hours before an article came out that was like here’s what this guy says. There’s a clip of me saying something you know unsavory stuff.
Joe Rogan: But talking s&&&.
Shane Gillis: It was the one podcast we ever filmed. That’s the one they used.
Joe Rogan: Wow.
Shane Gillis: And it just happened and it was funny too because people (usually) had to dig to find this. I was like that’s probably like three minutes in. We had one podcast online, it was three minutes in.
Joe Rogan: It’s what we were saying earlier. That’s what podcasts are and that’s what comics do a lot. We talk s&&&. It doesn’t mean you really mean those things but the idea today is that talking s&&& is not real they want to take out-of-context phrases and sentences that you’ve used and put them in quotes and make you look like a monster.
Shane Gillis: Yeah, yeah, for sure.
Joe Rogan: It was only one article that came out?
Shane Gillis: No.
Joe Rogan: There were quite a few?
Shane Gillis: So many articles. I think I was number one on Twitter for like three straight days.
Joe Rogan: Wow.
Shane Gillis: I’m just getting f&&&&&& eviscerated.
Joe Rogan: Did you read it all?
Shane Gillis: Oh, I read all of it.
Joe Rogan: Oh, no.
Shane Gillis: Yeah, everybody was like stop reading. I still read comments. I read every comment.
Joe Rogan: Why?
Shane Gillis: I don’t know. It’s f&&&&& up and it’s crazy too because I’ll read like 90 good ones and then one bad one.
Joe Rogan: One bad one will f&&& you up.
Shane Gillis: Just depends which one it is. You know I’ll get called like, you know, fat re&&&& constantly. I’ll be like yeah whatever. I can walk through that, no problem, right? But then there will be one that’s like something where they get you where they know you. Like he laughs at his own jokes on every podcast it’s like, ‘Oh f&&&, do I? S&&&!’ Anyway, all that stuff comes out and it was funny.
This is funny. I went into Lorne Michael’s office and he was talking and I was convinced I was getting fired like I knew I was getting fired because if they didn’t get me on that there’s so much more, so much worse. And, so he was talking to me and he was like, ‘No, we think we can..’ He’s like, ‘If we just get you to the first episode like people will see you’re not a piece of s&&& person, right? Just talk.’ And I was like whatever. If I get fired here, whatever, I’ll just go do Joe Rogan next week and I’ll be fine. Anyway, I thought that was funny, no?
Joe Rogan: What?
Shane Gillis: I was like… I literally thought that.
Joe Rogan: Oh, okay.
Shane Gillis: Yeah, I thought it would be funny.
Joe Rogan: Well, it could have been funny. I was booked up, though.
Shane Gillis: No, it’s fine. It was just funny (because) it was a conversation I actually had in Lorne Michael’s office in the middle of that.
Joe Rogan: That’s hilarious.
Shane Gillis: I was in pure f&&&&&& panic…
Joe Rogan: Because I remember somebody contacted me like to have you on and I was like I don’t have any room for a while. I could do an emergency podcast but I’m like let this dude ride this out and then we’ll do one eventually.
Shane Gillis: Truly glad that that did not happen because I would have come in emotionally, come in like guns and I never felt that way. Like the whole time, I was like I kind of get it.
Joe Rogan: When someone gets really canceled, you need perspective. You need, you know, what it’s like. You need that venom to work its way through your system and then you develop a certain amount of immunity to the actual moment.
Shane Gillis: Yeah, absolutely. It ended up being a good thing.
Joe Rogan: So when Lauren pulls you in the office and says, ‘We just have to get you to the stage. We just have to get you to an episode.’ Then what happens?
Shane Gillis: It just kept steamrolling like it didn’t dissipate at all. It kept being, ‘No, you guys need to fire him.’ And I get it because well…
Joe Rogan: That’s where the fun is. The fun in going after someone is not going after someone and then no consequences. That makes them sad, which makes them happy so they can get you fired.
Shane Gillis: Yeah, they did a good job. And it’s fine. Look, the whole time…
Joe Rogan: Dude, here’s why it’s fine. The sketches that you’re doing, what is it Gillian Keeves? Those are the best f&&&&&& comedy sketches that are on the internet right now.
Shane Gillis: Thank you.
Joe Rogan: I’m not bulls&&&&&&&. The only thing that’s at the same level is Kyle Dunnigan s&&&. The s&&& that he’s doing. Dude, because he’s got a massive advantage with that face swap though.
Shane Gillis: And he’s so good at doing impressions, though.
Joe Rogan: He’s amazing. Have you seen the new thing that Dunnigan is doing? He’s the f&&&&&& what is it? He does a fresh prince take off with Biden. What is it called?
Shane Gillis: Yeah. Fresh Prince of DC.
Joe Rogan: Yeah something fresh. Something like that.
Shane Gillis: Fresh Prez.
Joe Rogan: Yeah, dude. It’s tear-jerking. His bill, oh my god. It’s incredible.
Shane Gillis: “New rule!” It’s just, oh my god.
Joe Rogan: And it’s there’s something about it that it’s almost got like a South Park-esque quality to it because it looks so fake but it’s obvious. It’s like these things look, how bad these look. Look at the little tiny hand he holds up for Bill Maher. Like the face swap thing is amazing.
It really is amazing because it looks so fake like you would never believe that that’s the real person so it’s comedic but it’s also the material is brilliant and you can get away with so much in someone else’s voice when everybody knows it’s not really that person. It’s really one of the most genius platforms ever created and he’s the master. Him and Kurt Metzger. They’re incredible.
Shane Gillis: They’re both.
Joe Rogan: Yeah, it’s the best s&&&.
Shane Gillis: Kurt’s like one of my favorites.
Joe Rogan: But the s&&& you’re doing is right up there with that. It’s really f&&&&&& funny man. It’s really funny and it’s like something you would never be able to do on SNL. The stuff you guys are doing, how are you financing this stuff?
Shane Gillis: I financed half and then we had a production company that financed half.
Joe Rogan: The Trump one was made the Trump speed dating.
Shane Gillis: Yeah, it’s John McEver. He’s Keeves. He’s an incredible writer.
Joe Rogan: They’re really good, man. They’re really good.
Shane Gillis: Damn, I spazzed on that SNL story.
Joe Rogan: No, you didn’t at all. How do you feel like it came out? Look, it’s an awkward story.
Shane Gillis: It is, yeah. Here’s what’s uncomfortable about it. I don’t want to sound like it’s weird for me to rail against cancel culture because I was a victim of it for lack of a better word, you know what I mean.
Joe Rogan: Why is it weird for you to rail against?
Shane Gillis: I don’t know, I don’t know, it makes me seem…
Joe Rogan: It seems defensive?
Shane Gillis: Yeah, yeah. I’d rather just be like look if people bring up cancel culture I’m just like that happens.
Joe Rogan: Honestly, I really believe it’s better for you in the long run. I really do. You’re a brilliant comedian and I think your sketches are incredible and I think it’s better that you not get attached to something that’s ultimately corrupting.
Shane Gillis: And I don’t want to be on the other side of it where it’s like I’m a free-speech guy, I’m f&&&&&&… it’s like dude I don’t want to be involved in any of this. I just want to do comedy.