As you all know by now, Pete Davidson made a joke at Republican Congressional candidate — and war veteran — Dan Crenshaw’s expense. While serving in Afghanistan, Crenshaw was hit by an IUD blast and lost his right eye. He wears an eye patch. During “Update,” Davidson made a joke at his expense.
“You may be surprised to hear,” Davidson said, “that he’s a candidate for Congress and not a hitman for a porno movie.”
Personally, I thought the joke was fine (although, not nearly as funny as either the Andrew Cuomo or Greg Pence cracks), and I agree with Rebecca here.
The GOP getting so aggro about Pete Davidson saying Dan Crenshaw looks like a “hitman in a porno.” That’s not an insult! I would KILL for someone to tell me I look like a hitman in a porno.— Rebecca Pahle (@RebeccaPahle) November 4, 2018
It was what came after the joke that was rattling. “I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war or whatever. Whatever!” That didn’t sit well with a lot of folks (and I really wish he hadn’t said it).
Crenshaw — who is running (and heavily, heavily favored to win) in a Houston district, seemed to take the joke in stride. From Fox:
“They probably should apologize, but I’m not going to demand an apology. That is hollow and empty,” Crenshaw said on “Fox & Friends” Monday.
Instead, Crenshaw suggested they pool money together and donate to a veteran organization “that really needs some help.”
“What passes for humor these days is not what used to pass for humor and that’s the big tragedy in all of this,” Crenshaw said. “Why can’t we just be funny again? Why can’t we give the American people a break and separate humor from politics?”
“I have a thick skin,” Crenshaw said, noting that when people, including his friends, make jokes about him, it “has to be original, has to be witty, and it has to actually be funny.”
He also tweeted this:
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.— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) November 4, 2018
That is absolutely fair, and as reluctant as I might be to say it about a Republican, a classy response.
Kenan Thompson also weighed in this morning on Today show, suggesting that Davidson may have crossed a line.
“It definitely seems it. My father’s a veteran, Vietnam, and I personally would never necessarily go there, but it’s tough when you’re fishing for jokes — like that’s how stand-ups feel like there’s no real filters out there in the world when they’re trying to go for a great joke or whatever and we try to respect that but at the same time, when you miss the mark, you’re offending people so you have to really be a little more aware in my opinion.”
On the other hand, Thompson didn’t believe that Davidson was being dismissive of Crenshaw’s service. He thinks the “whatever” referred to how the joke was received, and not Crenshaw’s war wound, which makes sense. Davidson’s father was a firefighter who died in the World Trade Center. I don’t think he’d be dismissive of a guy’s war record.
“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.”