The View stars Meghan McCain and Joy Behar are known for having opinions on the opposite ends of the political spectrum. But when it came to discussing Pete Davidson's Saturday Night Live joke about Texas Republican congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw, both found some common ground they could stand on.
On Monday's episode, Whoopi Goldberg began the conversation by recapping what the comedian said on the latest episode of SNL. Pete appeared as himself on the Weekend Update segment of the show to poke fun at some of the candidates running in the midterm elections. Among them was Dan, a Navy SEAL who was badly wounded during his third tour in Afghanistan. As a result of his service, he now wears an eyepatch over his right eye.
When Dan's photo appeared during the SNL segment, Pete quipped that Dan was "kinda cool" but remarked that viewers might be "surprised he's a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie." He then added, "I'm sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever."
Dan later responded on Twitter by saying that he hopes the show realizes that wounded veterans don't deserve to be used as "punchlines for bad jokes."
After the clip was replayed, Joy quickly pointed out that Pete's father, a former New York City fireman, and that the comedian has said in the past that he uses humor to deal with his grief.
This kid Davidson, his father died in 9/11, and he said, ‘I like making things dark, awkward — weird things that you don’t really find funny, funny. There’s nothing I won’t joke about, and I think it’s because of what happened to me.’ So, I mean, he’s coming from a place of, you know, you make fun of things that are so painful to lighten the load. That’s where he’s coming from, I think.
But, generally, the joke didn't seem to sit well with any of The View panelists. Sunny Hostin called it a "sucker punch," and Abby Huntsman said making fun of vets "should never happen." It hit particularly too close to home for Meghan, whose father, John McCain, was also badly injured in combat.
"I had such a problem with this over the weekend. I’m not a snowflake, I can laugh at jokes ... I found it very offensive." She then begged the question, "why take potshots at people who have served and made sacrifices?"
Joy reiterated that offensive humor is SNL's "stock in trade" and that the show "does it all the time."
Even though Meghan and Joy seemed to fundamentally disagree over SNL's decision to air Pete's joke, Meghan did seem to acknowledge and understand where Joy was coming from.
"He [Pete] says that's how he deals with it, and that's fine that he finds catharsis in comedy, which I think a lot of people do," Meghan begins. "But that doesn't give him the right to take shots at someone else's service and physical pain."
Further, the two panelists completely agreed when Joy said that "he has a right to do it, and you [Meghan] have the right to speak out against it."
Whoopi and Sunny appeared to agree with what Joy said. Abby closed out the conversation by adding that she also agreed with Joy's freedom of speech sentiment despite still thinking that making fun of veterans "should never happen."