Dan Crenshaw made national headlines last week, but not because of his successful campaign for the House of Representatives. The former Navy SEAL and Texas Republican was mocked by comedian Pete Davidson for wearing an eye patch on the November 3 episode of Saturday Night Live, prompting swift blowback. But on Saturday night, just ahead of Veterans Day, the newly elected representative appeared alongside Davidson to get in some jokes of his own—and, more importantly, deliver a message to the American people.
It all started when Davidson, appearing on the “Weekend Update” segment last Saturday, joked about Crenshaw’s appearance. “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie,” the comedian joked. “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”
Crenshaw wears an eyepatch because of injuries he sustained from an IED explosion in Afghanistan. It had been his third tour in the country.
Crenshaw addressed the remark across national media, but seemed ready to refocus his attention on his race. But when SNL creator Lorne Michaels called to offer an apology and invite Crenshaw on the show, the veteran saw a chance to address the American people on a national stage.
. . . and to roast Davidson. On this Saturday’s “Weekend Update,” Davidson began by apologizing. “In what I’m sure was a huge shock for people who know me, I made a poor choice last week,” he said. “I mean this from the bottom of my heart. It was a poor choice of words. The man is a war hero, and he deserves all the respect in the world. And if any good came of this, maybe it was that for one day, the left and the right finally came together to agree on something. That I’m a dick.”
“You think?” Crenshaw asked Davidson, sliding in next to him behind the “Weekend Update” desk. Davidson went on to explain how the lieutenant commander lost his eye in combat and to make amends face to face. Just as Crenshaw accepted Davidson’s apology, the congressman-elect’s cell phone rang with “Breathin'”—the anxiety bop breakout of 2018 that just happens to be performed by Davidson’s recently ex-fiancée, Ariana Grande.
Crenshaw wasn’t done trolling, either. He roasted a photo of Davidson, just as the comedian had done to him last week. “This is Pete Davidson. He looks like if the meth from Breaking Bad was a person,” Crenshaw joked. “He looks like a Troll doll with a tapeworm.”
Jokes out of his system, Crenshaw ended his SNL appearance with a rare moment of poignancy on the typically irreverent show:
There’s a lot of lessons to learn here. Not just that the left and right can still agree on some things. But also this: Americans can forgive one another. We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other. This is Veterans Day weekend. Which means that it’s a good time for every American to connect with a veteran. Maybe say, “Thanks for your service.” But I would actually encourage you to say something else. Tell a veteran, “Never forget.” When you say “never forget” to a veteran, you are implying that, as an American, you are in it with them—not separated by some imaginary barrier between civilians and veterans, but connected together as grateful fellow Americans who will never forget the sacrifices made by veterans past and present. And never forget those we lost on 9/11, heroes like Pete’s father. So I’ll just say, Pete, never forget.