A couple of weeks ago, Pete Davidson did a bit on SNL’s Weekend Update called “First Impressions.” In the bit, Davidson gave his first impressions of what he thought candidates looked like. The jokes were sophomoric, but still pretty funny in my opinion. When showing a picture of Dan Crenshaw, Davidson said Crenshaw looked like a hit-man in a porno. Decent enough joke. However, he got himself into trouble when he talked about how Crenshaw lost his eye and was completely dismissive of Crenshaw’s service.
All told, it was a young comedian being young and stupid and going for a cheap laugh. Davidson caught a ton of blow back for his words and attitude. So, he invited Crenshaw on this past week week to get him back. What ensued was just about perfect:
I want to commend everyone involved in this. First of all, props to Dan Crenshaw. It is very easy to retreat into conservative echo chambers and say things like, “this is who they are” or “what do you expect of libs.” It’s very easy to say, “SNL hasn’t been funny for years” or something to that effect and just shut down or move on. But that is not what Crenshaw is made of. He stepped in and wasn’t about to be bested by a 24 year old comic. Instead, he changed the narrative completely. He showed the kind of grace and poise we should all carry. He wasn’t demeaning or dismissive. He met Davidson on his home turf and returned volley smoothly. He wasn’t reactionary. He took a breath and said, how can I deescalate this and make it better. Naturally, I’d expect nothing less from this hero, but it’s still nice to see it on display. (Also, dude has some comedic chops. Very well delivered performance.)
I also want to commend SNL and Pete Davidson for having Crenshaw on. The expedient thing to do would’ve been to ignore the complaints or issue some half-hearted apology and move on. But instead, they gave Crenshaw the floor and allowed him to shine on their stage. I thought that was a cool move.
Overall, the kid acted like a kid and the grown-up acted like a grown-up, and the two were both better off for it in the end. You could say it would’ve been better if it never happened, but I disagree. I’m glad we got to see a little humanity, humility and compassion. not to mention the humor that came with it.
Finally, I want to commend everyone who has shared this story this week. You don’t get this kind of interaction often in today’s political climate and I want to celebrate those that celebrate this.
BTW, here is the original clip that started the whole thing. (FWIW, the first impression of Peter King is hilarious.)