Saturday Night Live's Pete Davidson mocked Texas Republican Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw, who lost an eye in an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan, during the show's "Weekend Update" sketch Saturday night, in a segment on "first impressions" of some midterm contenders.
Predictably, Davidson lazily called most of the candidates "gross people," but stopped when he got to Crenshaw, who wears a patch over one eye — an eye he lost while serving in Afghanistan.
On NBC's Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson mocks GOP Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw for losing his eye in war: “You may be surprised to hear he’s a Congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie. I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever.” pic.twitter.com/krQwesqLAV— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 4, 2018
“You may be surprised to hear he’s a Congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie," Davidson cackled. "I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever."
The audience erupted in peals of laughter.
Crenshaw is a retired lieutenant commander with the United States Navy, and was formerly a Navy SEAL. According to his campaign website's "about" section, he "graduated from Tufts University in 2006, where he earned his Naval officer commission through Navy ROTC." After graduation, he reported immediately to SEAL training, where he excelled, and then deployed to Fallujah, in Iraq — the first of five tours of duty serving his country overseas.
He lost his eye on his third deployment. "After six months of combat operations," Crenshaw's official biography notes that "Dan was hit by an IED blast during a mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan." He lost his right eye and his left was "badly damaged." After undergoing several surgeries, Crenshaw returned to service, deploying twice more.
He left the Navy in 2016, having earned the Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor. He went on to earn his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard and then returned home to run for Congress in Texas' 2nd district.
Pete Davidson is a comedian who was recently dumped by a pop star, so he's totally in position to mock a man for his war wounds.
The joke drew swift and direct condemnation from people on both sides of the political aisle (except for The New York Times which labeled Davidson's riff the "bit of the week").
This is really awful and incredibly tone-deaf and offensive to veterans, their families and all who serve. Come on SNL, do better. https://t.co/9WsBg0qEpe— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) November 4, 2018
This is absolutely disgusting. The guy did three combat tours as a Navy SEAL. Not funny in any way, shape or form. https://t.co/c7IO308HXn— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) November 4, 2018
Davidson couched his "comical observations" with an admission later in the segment that, “I shouldn’t be making fun of how anyone looks. I look like I make vape juice in a bathtub."
Neither Davidson nor NBC has offered any official statement on the matter, however.
If you're up for a little masochism, you can watch the full segment below: