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    Shane Gillis nearly joined the ranks of “Saturday Night Live” players before resurfaced jokes came back to haunt him.

    Turns out he dodged a professional bullet.

    Gillis gets the last laugh Feb. 10 when he hosts the very show that deemed him morally unfit for its ranks.

    The far-Left “SNL” hired Gillis in 2019 and, just as quickly, let him go. He had told crude jokes featuring racial stereotypes in the past, material the show’s production team didn’t learn about until social justice warriors unearthed it.

    That could have been a death blow to Gillis, at the time a modestly-known comedian and podcaster. Imagine coming that close to the gig of a lifetime only to see it slip from your fingers.

    Gillis handled the imbroglio with class. He didn’t blast “SNL” or play the Victim CardTM. Instead, he went back to work.

    That work included killer sketches via his Gilly and Keeves partnership and his ongoing “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.”

    He also shared his stand-up work, for free, on YouTube. His “Live in Austin” special generated more than 23 million views since debuting two years ago.

    While “SNL” continued to debase its legacy with cringe-worthy sketches, hyper-partisan punchlines and cultural cowardice, Gillis’ star continued to rise. Last year, Netflix gave him his first stand-up special for the platform, “Shane Gillis: Beautiful Dogs.”

    Even The New York Times admitted Gillis had not just bounced back from his “SNL” punishment. He rose above it. Now, “SNL” is eating crow by inviting him to host the aging sketch show.

    Why?

    “SNL” needs Gillis’ credibility, talent and sketch comedy chops. Period.

    The show is more laughing stock than a comedy institution in its 49th season. Last year, the show’s cold open used the tone-deaf testimony of three Ivy League presidents to mock not their moral rot but the GOP congresswoman who exposed it.

    Earlier this month, “SNL” attempted to mock Donald Trump anew but ended up embarrassing itself in the process.

    The show has lost its edge and sense of adventure. It’s as predictable, and bland, as a Stephen Colbert monologue.

    You know the punchlines before they arrive, and they rarely make you smile.

    Gillis brings something fresh to the show. He’s funny and unpredictable, able to poke fun at cultural foibles while simultaneously mocking himself. He’s not a conservative but understands their perspective.

    Chances are more than one “SNL” cast member will boycott Gillis’ appearance. 

    Either way, the announcement is a professional victory for Gillis and another sign that “SNL” has little, if anything, new to say.



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