Today Hosts Thank Crenshaw for ‘Incredible Act of Generosity’ on SNL

After Republican Congressman-Elect and military veteran Dan Crenshaw appeared on Saturday Night Live over the weekend to publicly forgive comedian Pete Davidson for a skit mocking his service, on Monday, the newly-elected Texas lawmaker was interviewed by the hosts of NBC’s Today show. In part, co-host Savannah Guthrie thanked him for his “incredible act of generosity” in agreeing to go on the comedy show.

Following a brief report recounting Crenshaw’s SNL appearance, the morning show cast welcomed him on the broadcast, with Guthrie proclaiming: “Congressman-Elect Dan Crenshaw, Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw, joins us now from Houston. Sir, good morning....And we are honored to have you on this Veterans Day.”

 

 

Noting that retired Navy S.E.A.L. had “quite a week” after being elected to Congress and showing up on SNL, Guthrie wondered: “So I want to ask you which was better, but how did this come about and did you immediately say yes or were you a little bit hesitant at first?” Crenshaw acknowledged:

Well, we were hesitant at first. We weren’t sure what the skit was gonna look like....But in the end, we decided to do it. And we decided to do it because what better platform than to sort of give a united message for the country, you know, talk about forgiveness, and then talk about veterans.

Co-host Hoda Kotb praised the Congressman-Elect for his “awesome comedic timing” and “hitting joke after joke” during the skit with Davidson. Fellow co-host Craig Melvin gave Crenshaw the opportunity to repeat his Veterans Day message: “Congressman-Elect, you’ve said that instead of saying ‘Thank you for your service’ on Veterans Day, we should be saying something else. What is that and why?”

The veteran explained:

So, veterans always appreciate it when someone says, “Thank you for your service,” and I wanted to suggest a different option, which is “Never forget.” And I suggested that because it’s less transactional, right? When you thank somebody, it’s almost like you’re on the other side of them. When you’re saying, “Never forget,” it’s almost like this secret code between Americans where we all recognize that we can never forget the sacrifice of our veterans, past and present, but also never forget why a lot of veterans are still out in the fight right now. We never forget those we lost on 9/11. Again, it’s more of a team effort than it is, you know, a separation of civilian and military.

Wrapping up the exchange, Guthrie hailed his positive attitude throughout the controversy: “Sir, I really – what you wrote after this all happened, you said in a tweet, ‘I try hard not to offend and I try harder not to be offended.’ That was an incredible act of generosity for you to come here and make it okay and show what forgiveness looks like on Saturday night.”

Crenshaw replied: “Well, it felt good. It felt like the right thing to do. And I would appreciate it if everybody would stop looking for reasons to be offended, and that’s what this was all about.” Kotb declared that it was a “great message.”

The previous Monday, SNL cast member Kenan Thompson admitted that Davidson “definitely missed the mark” when he ridiculed Crenshaw’s appearance during a Weekend Update skit. Crenshaw lost an eye during combat in Afghanistan and wears an eye patch.

Here is a full transcript of the November 12 interview with Crenshaw:

7:45 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Congressman-Elect Dan Crenshaw, Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw, joins us now from Houston. Sir, good morning.

DAN CRENSHAW: Good morning.

GUTHRIE: And we are honored to have you on this Veterans Day.

CRENSHAW: It’s to be here with you all, thanks for having me.

GUTHRIE: You had quite a week last week. You won your first term to the United States Congress. Then you got a call from Lorne Michaels to come on SNL. So I want to ask you which was better, but how did this come about and did you immediately say yes or were you a little bit hesitant at first?

CRENSHAW: Well, we were hesitant at first. We weren’t sure what the skit was gonna look like, had a lot of veterans’ events planned this weekend, you know, of course. But in the end, we decided to do it. And we decided to do it because what better platform than to sort of give a united message for the country, you know, talk about forgiveness, and then talk about veterans. And they let me do that last part where we got a little bit serious and I was able to give a message about, you know, what I think it means to connect with veterans and to bridge that gap between civilians and military.

HODA KOTB: We want to get into those messages, which are important. But were all just sort of struck by how awesome your comedic timing was. I mean, you were hitting joke after joke.

CRENSHAW [LAUGHS]: Yeah, of course.

KOTB: Did you have any input or how did that work?

CRENSHAW: There was. It was a collaboration. You know, they come up with the framework, I have a bunch of ideas. I mean, it’s not all that often that I get to pitch a bunch of comedy ideas to, you know, one of the biggest shows in the world. So the good idea fairy was all over the place. [Laugh] It was fun, though. We had a lot of fun.

CRAIG MELVIN: Congressman-Elect, you’ve said that instead of saying “Thank you for your service” on Veterans Day, we should be saying something else. What is that and why?

CRENSHAW: Right. So, veterans always appreciate it when someone says, “Thank you for your service,” and I wanted to suggest a different option, which is “Never forget.” And I suggested that because it’s less transactional, right? When you thank somebody, it’s almost like you’re on the other side of them. When you’re saying, “Never forget,” it’s almost like this secret code between Americans where we all recognize that we can never forget the sacrifice of our veterans, past and present, but also never forget why a lot of veterans are still out in the fight right now. We never forget those we lost on 9/11. Again, it’s more of a team effort than it is, you know, a separation of civilian and military.

MELVIN: Yeah.

GUTHRIE: Sir, I really – what you wrote after this all happened, you said in a tweet, “I try hard not to offend and I try harder not to be offended.” That was an incredible act of generosity for you to come here and make it okay and show what forgiveness looks like on Saturday night.

CRENSHAW: Well, it felt good. It felt like the right thing to do. And I would appreciate it if everybody would stop looking for reasons to be offended, and that’s what this was all about.

MELVIN: Alright.

KOTB: Great message.

GUTHRIE: Well, guess what? They need more humor in Washington, sir. So, good luck. [Laughter]

CRENSHAW: We'll bring it.

KOTB: Congressman-Elect, Dan Crenshaw. Thank you again, so much.

MELVIN: Never forget on this Veterans Day.

CRENSHAW: Thank you.


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