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Dan Crenshaw shed some insight into how his surprise Saturday Night Live appearance came together on Monday morning.
“We were hesitant at first, we weren’t sure what the skit was going to look like,” the Republican from Texas explained on Today show. “But in the end, we decided to do it because what better platform than to give a united message for the country, talk about forgiveness and then talk about veterans?”
The Congressman-elect appeared on SNL over the weekend to accept an apology from castmember Pete Davidson live on the air. The week prior, Davidson had mocked Crenshaw’s appearance ahead of the midterm elections, where he went on to easily win his House race. Davidson had made a controversial joke about the eye patch Crenshaw wears — the former Navy SEAL lost an eye while serving in Afghanistan — and received instant backlash from both sides of the aisle.
When Crenshaw appeared next to Davidson at the “Weekend Update” desk on Saturday, he accepted Davidson’s apology, while also getting in a few of his own jabs at the SNL star’s expense. He then closed out his appearance with a message of unity to Americans on Veterans Day weekend.
“There are a lot of lessons to learn here, not just that the left and right can still agree on some things, but also this: Americans can forgive one another. We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other,” said Crenshaw, encouraging viewers to recognize veterans by telling them, “Never forget.”
“When you say ‘Never forget’ to a veteran, you are implying that, as an American, you are in it with them… connected together as grateful fellow Americans who will never forget the sacrifices made by veterans past and present. And never forget those we lost on 9/11, heroes like Pete’s father,” said Crenshaw, who then shook Davidson’s hand to cheers and applause.
Speaking on the NBC News morning show on Veterans Day, Crenshaw said he was grateful to have the SNL platform to deliver that final, serious message.
“They let me do that last part where we got a little bit serious and I was able to give a message about what I think it means to connect with veterans and how to bridge that gap between civilians and military,” he said. “I suggested [‘Never forget’] because it’s less transactional. When you thank somebody, it’s almost like you’re on the other side of them. When you’re saying ‘Never forget,’ it’s almost like this secret code between Americans… it’s more of a team effort than it is a separation of civilian and military.”
Crenshaw had revealed ahead of the appearance that the producers reached out to him privately to apologize in the week between the two shows. On Monday, he called his appearance a collaborative effort.
“They come up with the framework, I have a bunch of ideas,” he said of landing the jokes on SNL. “It’s not all [that] often that I get to pitch a bunch of comedy ideas to one of the biggest shows in the world, so the Good Idea Fairy was all over the place.”
He added, “It felt good and it felt like the right thing to do. I would appreciate if everybody would stop looking for reasons to be offended and that’s what this was all about.”
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