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Netflix Wants to Chill With Shane Gillis and His New Workplace Sitcom

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bob Woodruff Foundation
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bob Woodruff Foundation

You might say getting fired from Saturday Night Live was the best thing that ever happened to Shane Gillis. The controversial comic, whose history of racist remarks caused him to be unceremoniously bounced before ever getting the chance to grace the stage at Studio 8H, returned to host the NBC sketch show over the weekend. Now, in the wake of that victory lap, he’s being offered another: a shiny new Netflix deal.

The streamer’s “extended partnership” with the “beloved” Gillis was announced on Monday. In a press release, the company said it had acquired a six-episode scripted comedy series called Tires, co-created by and starring Gillis, who will also write and executive produce the show. A self-financed workplace sitcom about two cousins trying to run a chain of auto repair shops, Tires will premiere on May 23.

Also cooking on the front burner is a new stand-up special, which Netflix ordered from Gillis after his previous special for the platform, Beautiful Dogs, turned out to be a runaway hit when it dropped last year. The company also said in its press release that Gillis would be performing two shows at its annual Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival.

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The well-timed news comes on the heels of Gillis’ scattershot turn in the SNL host’s chair, which saw him drop the word “retarded” during his opening monologue, speak in Jamaican patois, and attend Forrest Gump’s high school reunion.

Gillis, 36, promptly shot to right-wing infamy after news of his hire to SNL in 2019 led to the resurfacing of Asian slurs and homophobic comments he’d deployed on podcasts. One of those was his own, Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, which has over 80,000 paid listeners on Patreon and has occasionally featured two friends of Gillis’ who happen to be apparent Holocaust deniers.

But the comedian has also shied away from leaning into cancel-culture victimhood, instead using his newfound persona to subvert the standard tropes applied to guys who look like him and cultivate an aura of self-aware idiocy. On Saturday night, for example, he feigned embarrassment rather than outrage.

“Most of you probably have no idea who I am. I was actually—I was fired from this show a while ago. But if, you know, don’t look that up, please, if you don’t know who I am,” he said to laughter. “Please, don’t Google that. It’s fine. Don’t even worry about it.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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