Comedian Shane Gillis made headlines back in 2019 when he was fired from Saturday Night Live quickly after being hired as one of the three new cast members for Season 45. It’s been four years since the scandal, but now it seems Gillis is coming out on top. His new comedy special, Beautiful Dogs, is currently number four on the Netflix Top 10, behind popular projects like Virgin River, Dear Child, and One Piece. He is also the number-one comedy special on the platform.
After being hired on SNL, videos resurfaced of Gillis using racial and homophobic slurs in podcast interviews the comedian participated in. The revelation resulted in him being fired from the sketch comedy show. The decision to fire the comedian was a swift one, and an NBC head honcho opened up about how the incident affected the vetting process on the show. In the aftermath, Gillis apologized for his past remarks on Twitter, and he made several appearances on podcasts. He has continued performing stand-up comedy over the years, gaining an audience despite controversy, and now has a special on Netflix.
Now, it seems like the stand-up grind was worth it for Gillis, whose Beautiful Dogs special is crushing it on Netflix. The comedian still remains a subject of controversy, which may be partially responsible for the success of the special. Netflix hasn’t shied away from controversial comedians and specials in the past. The streamer has continued its partnership with Dave Chappelle after backlash from his alleged anti-transgender rhetoric in his latest comedy specials. The specials were successful nonetheless, and show that comedic popularity can continue even in the wake of extreme controversy.
Popular Stand-Up Specials On Netflix
Gillis’s Netflix success is also unsurprising considering his fanbase has continued to grow following the SNL incident. His YouTube channel has almost half a million subscribers, and his podcast has also attracted a significant audience. The YouTube channel released the comedian’s previous special, Live in Austin, which resulted in millions of views. Based on the Netflix numbers, this online viral success is translating into mainstream success as a comedian, with his audience likely growing as long as his special remains in the streaming service’s Top 10.
Only time will tell if the controversy surrounding the comedian ultimately will end up leading to more backlash as he continues pursuing comedy. However, as things stand right now, Gillis has seemingly emerged from his SNL firing with success, and he was able to hone his stand-up skills enough to produce a Netflix comedy special. He may not have been a fit for the iconic sketch comedy program, but he has found his audience, and the strength of the special suggests there’s more to come for the comedian.
You can check out Shane Gillis’s latest special, Beautiful Dogs, with a Netflix subscription.