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Dan Crenshaw had the last laugh over Saturday Night Live during his victory speech Tuesday night.
The former Navy SEAL and first-time political candidate was elected to Texas’ 2nd District, becoming the state’s youngest congressional representative. Crenshaw beat out Democrat Todd Litton with 53 percent of the vote.
The Republican, who wears an eye patch after losing an eye while serving in Afghanistan in 2012, found himself a target of SNL castmember Pete Davidson in the NBC sketch show’s latest installment Saturday. During “Weekend Update,” Davidson joked about the appearances of several congressional candidates and likened Crenshaw to “a hitman in a porno movie.”
The joke was panned on Twitter and though he received backlash, Davidson has not commented. Crenshaw has now said, however, that SNL has since reached out to him privately to apologize, explaining that the moment was not scripted. Crenshaw accepted the apology from producers: “I don’t want to be part of the problem. That’s why I don’t want to be calling for firing people and demanding apologies.”
During his victory speech Tuesday night, Crenshaw said it’s been an “interesting last 72 hours,” but when people asked if he is offended, he said, to big cheers, “Well, I’m from the SEAL Teams, we don’t really get offended. But we also like it when comedians are actually funny. Let’s get back to being funny.” While thanking a member of his team who persuaded him to run, Chrenshaw chided about his rising profile, “He’s upset because the recent Saturday Night Live controversy has resulted in me having more Twitter followers.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee had demanded an apology from both Davidson and SNL, and Crenshaw initially responded on Twitter. “Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes,” he wrote on Sunday.
On Tuesday night, according to USA Today, Crenshaw spoke about his injury, which occurred during his third deployment. After being hit by an IED blast during a mission in Helmand province, he was evacuated. He awoke from a medically induced coma to learn that his right eye had been destroyed and his left eye was also badly damaged.
“[When] my wife Tara got the phone call that I’d been seriously injured, and I may never actually lay eyes on her again, she wasn’t alone,” he said. “Friends and teammates were with her. This life, this purpose, this American spirit that we hold dear, we are not alone, we do it together.”
When asked about SNL after his speech, Crenshaw reiterated, “SEALs don’t get offended. That’s just not what we do. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t offensive, but let’s stop demanding apologies and firings of people. Let’s just demand that comedy actually be funny, but let’s be good people.”
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