Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, walks through the halls on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
We have now come full circle on the whole Pete Davidson/Dan Crenshaw story.
Just a few days before the November 2018 elections, Davidson went on Saturday Night Live and made some pretty tasteless jokes about then-candidate for Congress Crenshaw, including cracking that “you may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate for Texas and not a hit-man in a porno movie” while an image of Crenshaw wearing his eyepatch was shown. “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever,” Davidson also said during the segment.
The “jokes” were widely planned, including by other cast members of SNL. Crenshaw himself even tweeted that even though he made it a rule to try not to offend nor be offended, that he hoped SNL “recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.”
Crenshaw went on to be elected, and a few days later was invited on to the show for a comedic segment where Davidson would end up apologizing. Crenshaw used the opportunity to bring up forgiveness (the broadcast was on Veterans’ Day weekend) and talked about the sacrifices veterans and civilians alike had made over the years, including Davidson’s father Scott, an NYC firefighter who died on 9/11. Pete Davidson was just 7 years-old at the time.
A month after the Davidson/Crenshaw segment, Davidson posted an alarming message on social media that sounded like a suicide note. Crenshaw reached out to Davidson to make sure he was ok, and to tell him his life was worth living.
Fast forward a little over a year later, and Davidson has done a complete reversal on the whole thing. And he did it in a pretty sh*tty way, too via a new comedy special taped in December 2019, which aired Tuesday on Netflix:
“I didn’t think I did anything wrong,” the 26-year-old continues. “It was like words that were twisted so that a guy could be famous. … So, I made fun of this guy with an eyepatch and then, like, I kind of got forced to apologize.”
“My roommate thought I should apologize so that I didn’t get shot in the face,” Davidson says, referring to his mother.
“People were like, ‘You hate America!’ And I’m like, ‘No, I just didn’t want to be incorrect about how he lost his f—ing eye,'” Davidson later adds. “Is that a crime?’”
During the show, Davidson took back the apology – and then made a dive for the gutter:
But while Davidson evidently felt “forced” to apologize to Crenshaw’s face, he is now using his stand-up special to more or less rescind that apology.
The “only thing” that Davidson says he is now willing to apologize for is making Crenshaw “famous and a household name for no reason.”
“I did what, like, Ariana Grande did for me,” he jokes, before adding the punchline: “I sucked his d**k at SNL.”
With a language warning in mind, watch as Davidson discusses the controversy below (via MRC):
I know comedians are supposed to be edgy, raw, crude, politically incorrect and all that, but Davidson’s dumping all over Crenshaw here, especially after he reached out to him after the suicide scare, is just 50 shades of wrong to me. I think he could have addressed the issue in an effort to put it behind him without making Crenshaw into a nasty punchline.
I’m sure a lot of people reading about what Davidson said about Crenshaw during the special will probably think “see, that’s what a Republican gets for trying to break bread with a Hollywood liberal, yada yada”, but Crenshaw comes across as someone who operates on the “good faith” principle regardless of a person’s political leanings. Not only that, but he was probably aware at the time he went on to SNL to receive Davidson’s apology that it might have ended up backfiring on down the line in some way.
It did. But in this case, the joke is on Davidson because it (again) reflects poorly on him, not Crenshaw.
As of this writing, the Congressman has yet to publicly respond to Davidson’s remarks.