Kenan Thompson thinks his costar Pete Davidson may have crossed the line with a joke on the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live.
In a segment during Weekend Update about his first impressions of current political candidates, Davidson mocked Republican congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw, saying his eyepatch made Crenshaw look like a “hitman in a porno.” Davidson then added, “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever. Whatever.”
The joke immediately drew ire with viewers suggesting on Twitter that Davidson owed Crenshaw an apology for belittling his service. Crenshaw himself said he didn’t need an apology in an interview with TMZ. “I want us to get away from this culture where we demand apologies every time someone misspeaks,” he said.
But Davidson’s castmate Thompson told Today that he felt Davidson had crossed a line. “My father’s a veteran, Vietnam, and I personally would never necessarily go there,” he said. “It’s tough when you’re fishing for jokes. That’s how stand-ups feel that there’s no real filters out there in the world when they’re trying to go for a great joke or whatever. We try to respect that, but at the same time when you miss the mark, you’re offending people and so you have to really be a little more aware, in my opinion.”
Thompson added, “He definitely missed the mark. I think he was more so commenting on the fact that the joke maybe didn’t land as hard as he wanted to, as opposed to being like I don’t care about veterans. I think Pete’s a very humble dude and he’s got a big heart. I don’t think he goes out to offend anyone.”
The SNL veteran clarified that sometimes jokes of this nature are an unfortunate result of stand-ups trying to find humor in any situation. “Stand-ups are the ones who help us laugh through the most awful things in the first place, so they’re always fishing in weird places and that was an unfortunate outcome,” he concluded.
Representatives for SNL and Thompson did not immediately respond to request for further comment.