John Early Is Figuring Out How to Be Sincere

As the star of the sharp new indie ‘Stress Positions,’ the irreverent comic works in a more serious vein. He tells Cracked why he’s getting comfortable with being earnest — even if he’s scared everyone will think he’s pretentious

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Louis C.K. Called Shane Gillis With ‘SNL’ Monologue Advice

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Louis C.K. Called Shane Gillis With ‘SNL’ Monologue Advice

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Not many comedians knew what Shane Gillis was up against when he hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend. Usually when a comic is the subject of public disgrace, they don’t get invited to host — unless the comic’s name is Dave Chappelle. There’s at least one other comedian, however, who had some kind of idea of what Gillis was up against. And that’s Louis C.K.

A quick rewind since this was a few years ago: In April of 2017, C.K. hosted SNL for the fourth time That was the same year that allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct were coming to the surface. While it was still a few months away from The New York Times story about five women who’d had troubling run-ins with the comic, his behavior wasn’t exactly a secret. Roseanne Barr, for one, called out C.K. days before he hosted SNLtelling The Daily Beast, “It’s Louis C.K., locking the door and masturbating in front of women comics and writers. I can’t tell you—I’ve heard so many stories.” 

So C.K. knew something about performing an SNL monologue in the face of a scandal. “Louis called me about it and said, ‘Just do your best jokes. Most of the people watching this episode have never seen you do stand-up. Just do your best jokes,’” Gillis revealed in a clip from Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast

Gillis questioned the advice, asking C.K. “Didn’t you do new (material) for your monologues?”

“And he was like, ‘Shane, I’m so much better at stand-up than you,’” Gillis revealed with a laugh. “Yeah, I guess you are, Louis C.K., motherf***er.”

Gillis must have listened to C.K.’s advice because on Saturday night, the nervous host played the hits. He did his Down syndrome material, a bit that got big laughs on his Netflix special Beautiful Dogs but didn’t go over so well on SNL. “I’m trying my best,” Gillis protested. “Also, this place is extremely well-lit. I can see everyone not enjoying it.”

At least Gillis had the guts to partially address his problems during his monologue, urging viewers not to google the reasons he got fired from SNL in the first place. When Louis C.K. hosted in 2017, there was no acknowledgment of what Barr, Tig Notaro, Jen Kirkman and others were saying about him. Just jokes about racist chickens, animal peculiarities, and luxury hotels. 

C.K.’s advice didn’t work so well for the Gillis monologue but in the end, what does Louis know? Since his last monologue, SNL hasn’t asked him back. It might be a minute before we see Gillis again as well. 

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John Early Is Figuring Out How to Be Sincere

As the star of the sharp new indie ‘Stress Positions,’ the irreverent comic works in a more serious vein. He tells Cracked why he’s getting comfortable with being earnest — even if he’s scared everyone will think he’s pretentious

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