'He Came in There Wanting to Shoot Everybody - Verbally': Chris Redd Spills Tea on Kanye's 2018 SNL Appearance
SNL alumnus Chris Redd is back in the saddle following an incident two weeks ago when the stand-up comic was randomly assaulted before a set at the Comedy Cellar in Manhattan. Yesterday, Redd spoke to The Daily Beast about his latest stand-up special, Chris Redd: Why Am I Like This? on HBO Max, and the veteran comedian answered questions about the details of the attack, his departure from SNL, and, of course, the countless warning signs that Kanye West was going off the deep end.
Said Redd of the infamous 2018 episode of SNL wherein West, that night's musical guest, delivered a deranged, unaired, pro-Trump rant to a chorus of boos from the live studio audience, “He came in there wanting to shoot everybody—verbally … He just came in there with a chip on his shoulder, ready to talk s—.” Considering West’s recent mental state, Redd and the rest of the 30 Rock staff that day should be thankful that the rapper’s arsenal only contained a red hat and some strange political takes.
“A surprise party of one fist” is what Redd called the random attack that left him bleeding profusely all over the Comedy Cellar’s front step. In one of his first interviews since the attack, Redd told The Last Laugh’s host Matt Wilstein that he wanted to clear the air about some of the specifics of the incident. First off, Redd wasn’t “getting out of a car” on his way to his set at the legendary comedy club, as was previously reported. He “walked there like any New Yorker,” when a man rushed at him out of nowhere wielding “something metal.” Redd, an amateur boxer, wasn’t “terrified” by the attack itself, but was understandably worried about “how much blood was coming out of my face,” as pictured in the video released by TMZ following the incident. Despite numerous facial fractures, Redd is unfazed by the incident, and the comic is looking forward to audiences hearing more of his own voice on Why Am I Like This?
While discussing his time on SNL, Redd noted that the struggle to “get your voice in there as much as possible and write something that’s as close to what you would naturally do outside of the show” was one of his biggest challenges at the media monolith, and his frustration with constant cuts was one of the main factors behind his decision to leave. As for his new special, which was released on HBO Max this past Thursday, Redd promised, “Even if I had to cut material. I’m still in it … No one can cut me out of this s—. Ain’t no ‘cut for time’ here, baby!”
On the topic of Redd’s most popular impression from his time at SNL, the comic had some insights about Kanye West’s now infamous rant on the show back in 2018 during which cast members awkwardly stood behind the music, fashion, and anti-Semitism icon while he delivered pro-Trump diatribe to a less-than-friendly reception from the in-studio audience. Redd recalled hearing West practice the speech during dress rehearsal, saying, “I was listening to his words, and I was like, bro, he’s about to pull some bulls—. And I’m not about to be on stage for that. I’m not going to entertain this. Like, I’ve been a fan of Kanye my whole life. And I miss the old Kanye.” Redd said of West’s hostile demeanor towards the SNL cast and crew backstage, “I just felt that was disrespectful, because we’re all grown adults. And now all of us don’t like you.”
Post-attack and post-SNL, the future is bright for the St. Louis-born comedian. Said Redd of his upcoming projects, “I’m really excited to write a show, to write a single-camera show. I’m really excited to get into the horror-comedy space. I’m really excited to keep pounding the pavement on stand-up, get my next special out. I’m really excited to get into some comedy music and do it no holds barred and work with my favorite artists, people who I wouldn’t have had the time to work with.”
Redd finished the interview with the sly teaser of “I have a few things up my sleeve, player,” which is the exact phrase that earned Kanye West a cavity check from the security guards at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.