Shane Gillis Just Had One of Comedy's Biggest Racists on His Podcast

His latest guest is Nick Rochefort of Million Dollar Extreme, whose Adult Swim show was cancelled over its use of Nazi imagery.

Shane Gillis Just Had One of Comedy's Biggest Racists on His Podcast
Image via Netflix.

Fresh off the success of his Netflix series Tires, Bud Light brand partner Shane Gillis lent his platform this weekend to the racist and antisemitic comedian Nick Rochefort of Million Dollar Extreme, whose eponymous Adult Swim series was cancelled in 2016 over its use of Nazi imagery. Like his fellow Million Dollar Extreme members Sam Hyde and Charls Carroll, Rochefort has spent the last few years crawling his way back into mainstream comedy spaces, though he has not done so by reforming his act. In recent episodes of his own podcasts—including Perfect Guy Life, which he cohosts with Hyde, and Scuffed Realtor—he has used a certain slur for Black people, complained that there are “too many cornball Chinese people in Boston,” said that Jews “fetishize the fuck out of Asians” (and that they run Hollywood), described the Rothschild family as “blood-drinking psychos,” and co-signed various antisemitic comments by his cohost. His guest spot on Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, which currently boasts 93,200 paying members, represents one of his biggest appearances since his Adult Swim days. 

It is not, however, his first time working with Gillis. The comedian, who recently headlined the Netflix Is A Joke Festival, appeared on Perfect Guy Life last year, in an episode that featured Rochefort’s complaints about Lorne Michaels’ (nonexistent, as best I can tell) dual Israeli citizenship: “That dual citizenship with fucking Lorne Michaels fucking bothers me. Why is he a dual citizen of Israel? What did Lorne Michaels do to get dual citizenship in Israel?” In that same episode, Gillis said that he and McCusker were longtime fans of Million Dollar Extreme, a comment he also made in Hyde’s 2020 appearance on Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast: “We’re both huge fans, me and Matt have been watching your stuff since day one.” 

Hyde, for his part, assured Gillis and McCusker that he had been “calming down with the antisemitism lately.” If this was ever true, he’s recently ramped it right back up. Consider an exchange from a recent episode of Perfect Guy Life in which Hyde explains to Rochefort and Carroll that thanks to Israel's assault on Gaza, the tides of public are now turning against Jewish people. (Note that the clip features “Brazilian” dubbed over instances of the word “Jews” and “Jewish”; this has been Hyde’s codeword for some time.) As you’ll see, Rochefort and Hyde are very much on the same page:

HYDE: This Israel-Palestine thing. It's really setting the Brazilians against the leftists that they've sort of created.
ROCHEFORT: Isn't that good? As a—you don't think they'll contain it?
HYDE: I mean, I don't know what's gonna happen, but it's not going away, man.
ROCHEFORT: What, you think leftists are gonna be going at pro-Brazilian?
HYDE: Yeah. Because the Palestinian side is the brown, underdog, oppressed side that the leftists are sort of gravitating towards. And they're now like—
CARROLL: Their Frankenstein's beating them back.
HYDE: Yeah. The Golem is fighting back now.
HYDE: Yeah. Frankly, the left is saying and doing things that are downright antisemitic.
CARROLL: Welcome to the party, pal!
ROCHEFORT: I've been asleep the whole time on this thing. I'm just like, "ah, that's boring." But—what did it say? Hold on. [Reading Amy Schumer's messages to actor Asia Jackson:] "Did something I post about my people being massacred upset you?"
HYDE: [Caricaturish Jewish-American accent] "My people being massacred."
ROCHEFORT: Yeah, the "my people" thing is fucking unbelievable. The Brazilian just wake up and stops talking like that. [sic]
HYDE: No, they're not gonna, it's not gonna happen.
ROCHEFORT: I know. What is it about the—I don't understand it—I would never—I'm a Catholic, I'm a Catholic boy. [Possibly “bully.”]
HYDE: It's not religion. It's not a religious thing.
ROCHEFORT: I'm a Canadian boy. [Again, possibly “bully.” I don’t know what’s going on here.]
HYDE: It's an ethnic, it's an ethnic thing. They have the highest—[looking at a photo of Schumer]—good God, that is frightening. That is a chilling, that is a frightening visage.
ROCHEFORT: I wish I saw her in real life. I'd try to fuck her, and I'd call my wife first. I'd be like, "Hey Jess, is it cool if I try to fuck Amy Schumer?" She'd be like, "Yeah, [unintelligible]."
HYDE: They have the highest in-group loyalty, and they have a high enough IQ to disguise that in-group loyalty quite, quite well.
ROCHEFORT: I guess I think in-group loyalty is fucking [unintelligible].
HYDE: Well. I mean, there's a case to be made for that, but unfortunately, if you don't have high in-group loyalty, you are—
CARROLL: You get eliminated.
HYDE: —Genetically doomed to be eradicated from the face of the earth as a group.
HYDE: Yeah.
ROCHEFORT: As a group, though.
HYDE: Mm-hmm.
CARROLL: Just ancient, ancient biblical warfare is still happening to this day. Just under different names.
ROCHEFORT: It's been going on forever.
HYDE: It's tribal warfare and it's unavoidable. It's kind of seems unavoidable. I think it's unavoidable. The, the fact that tribal warfare is a thing. I mean, it happens in nature all the time. It happens with, fucking trees do it. Trees favor other trees with their—they share nutrients, I think. And they favor trees that are more genetically similar to them than trees that are not.
ROCHEFORT: It's true. Birch trees don’t fuck with any other trees.
HYDE: That's just the way of nature. And white people, I think, are currently getting beat down pretty, pretty hard with white guilt. And that's why they have this lowered—one reason why they have this lowered in-group loyalty, I think.
CARROLL: For now. We'll see if it'll change.
HYDE: We'll see.
ROCHEFORT: But I guess the question is, when you say it's not going away, right? How do you see it playing out? You think we're just gonna get dragged into [World War] Three?
HYDE: I don't know. I think if I was Brazilian, I'd be pretty fucking worried right now. 'Cause on Twitter, Brazilians are getting dragged. Like, Twitter is like the Nazi—it's like—Nazi—Nazi, what the fuck—it's fucking, it's leftists that are—Twitter is like, in my opinion, in my opinion, Twitter is a pretty, it seems pretty well representative of what people actually think now. And whether you like it or not, the black people that I follow on Twitter, the white people, the racists that I follow on Twitter, the stuff they're saying, it doesn't seem like there's anything really outta whack, like any messages that are getting boosted too much on Twitter, like out of proportion to the way people feel. And it just seems the vibe, the temperature right now is that people really don't like Brazilians. And it seems like it's getting safer and safer to say that. [Referring to a picture of a post by model Camilla Deterre.] This model—
CARROLL: Never thought I'd see the day.
HYDE: I never thought I'd see the day. This model comparing Israel to Nazis—it's Israel that they say the issue's with, but Israel is Brazilian. So, you know, if I was just—it's not looking good, man. If I was Brazilian, I'd be worried.
HYDE: That's what I mean, it's not going away.
CARROLL: Welcome to the party. That's the only thing you can say.

This is nothing out of the ordinary for Perfect Guy Life. The podcast is full of straightforwardly white supremacist tirades not even remotely dressed up as humor. This is who these guys are; it’s why they put Nazi imagery in their Adult Swim show and it’s why Adult Swim cut them loose. They are white supremacists. The odds that Gillis and McCusker don’t know this are zero. As they’ve said themselves, they’ve been fans of Million Dollar Extreme since the beginning.

To their credit, they mostly have the discipline to steer clear of outright racism and antisemitism during Rochefort’s appearance on Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast. The episode is fairly typical podcast-chat: they talk about the Spanish Civil War, Hooter’s, life in “the hood,” criminal gangs like MS-13 (okay, this section does get a bit racist), and UFC. You know, normal comedy stuff. Then there’s the bit where Rochefort fantasizes about murdering unhoused people:

ROCHEFORT: You guys have some wild homeless people here.
GILLIS: They're out here.
ROCHEFORT: We got spit on yesterday by a homeless guy.
MCCUSKER: Did you really?
ROCHEFORT: It was fun.
GILLIS: That sucks.
ROCHEFORT: It could have been anybody.
ROCHEFORT: He was like [unintelligible groaning sounds] and we got spit on. I wanted to kick him in the fucking head as hard as possible.
ROCHEFORT: I wanted to kick him to mush. Don't you just want to? And I have no mercy for it. I don't care. I'll take every piece of life. Homeless people could be minced. You could practice knife skills on homeless people, I wouldn't care. Show me how fine of a chef you could be by chopping it to slurry. I wouldn't care. I'd be like "Mmm, I'm hungry.”
GILLIS: I think that's how most of the population feel. If somebody ran for office and was like, "I'm just going to get rid of the homeless." Everybody would protest for a day and then finally be like, "This is... Austin's nice. It's really nice here."
MCCUSKER: Yeah. If some terrible homeless-only disease rampaged through, people would be like, "This is terrible.” You'd have to watch people—
GILLIS: "We're gonna have to do something."
ROCHEFORT: Put in the diabetes pin tips.
GILLIS: Yeah, they cleared out the camps here. Remember? We were down here—
MCCUSKER: I thought it's chill now compared to what it was.
GILLIS: They clear out the camps every once in a while.
MCCUSKER: Do they really?
GILLIS: Under the bridge, near The Creek and the Cave, they'll set up a giant encampment and then every few months it'll just be gone one day.
GILLIS: And then it's nice for a while.
MCCUSKER: The police come, yeah. I told you, I talked to the—well, he was the ex-mayor of Salt Lake City at a farmer's market and I was like, "Dude, this is nice here.” He was like, "Well, there were homeless encampments earlier and they cleaned them out." And I was like, "Hell yeah.” And he was like, "No, no, no. I'm running against that. That's a terrible thing." I was like, "Oh, my bad."
ROCHEFORT: Here we go.
GILLIS: Hell yeah.
MCCUSKER: Shit, I was like, "It looks pretty nice here, though.”

As I’ve written before, there is a popular narrative in comedy that ever since his firing from SNL, Shane Gillis has risen past the misguided decisions of his past—namely, telling lots of racist jokes—and proven himself to be a truly great comic. This idea has taken root even among liberal and left-wing comics, many of whom have joined Louis CK and Dave Chappelle as Gillis’s friends and fans. Stavros Halkias just appeared in Tires. Jerrod Carmichael told the New Yorker that he considers Gillis “one of the few truly funny standups working today," describing his material as “dangerous” and “truthful.” Ahead of Gillis’s SNL episode earlier this year, up-and-coming lefty comic Gianmarco Soresi described him as “one of the best doing it.” 

Congratulations, Racists
Revisiting Shane Gillis.

I have yet to see anyone who believes in Gillis’s supposed transformation reconcile it with his continued support of unequivocal bigots and conspiracists—not only Million Dollar Extreme, but also the podcasters behind War Mode, a pair of Holocaust deniers who believe Sandy Hook was a hoax and Pizzagate was real. In their most recent episode on Patreon, where (partly thanks to Gillis's support) they have nearly 14,000 paying subscribers, they proclaimed that the entire Covid-19 pandemic was fake and that Barack Obama is a Satanist:

ANDREW PACELLA: It’s fucked up when you know that there’s never been a virus. The entire thing was a psychological operation. All they had to do is do a couple of mass killings in three or four cities in the world, and then they keep the rest going on the internet. And all it was was a little bit of propaganda, and it's called a 360 fucking whatever. This is 5G warfare. And they say you got 5G on your phone for some reason. And dude, do you notice extreme speeds? Are you loving 5G?
BILL MCCUSKER: They’ve voided all nutrients out of all fucking vegetables. Why the fuck do you think out of nowhere Game Changers comes out on fucking Netflix, a thing owned by the Obamas? And if you look at Obama’s fucking picture, like King Charles’ picture—you invert that—if you invert that the same way, there’s a goat—
PACELLA: A Baphomet.
MCCUSKER: There’s a Baphomet.
PACELLA: And he did do the Pergamum Altar in ’08. 
MCCUSKER: Yeah. So all I’m saying—
PACELLA: But a carrot today is 11 weaker than a carrot 100 years ago. 
MCCUSKER: So what the fuck—you might as well eat sheetrock. 
PACELLA: I’m not saying that you should worship the fucking days of old, the Greatest Generation, but they were jacked and shredded. And they did D-Day.
MCCUSKER: T-levels were wild. They weren’t afraid. But  it gets me weirded out when they start sitting there talking about that fucking Greek cult that worship the snake, fucking Obama’s the biggest Satanist in the fucking world. Not even getting on some weird shit. They’re legit evil fuckers. 
PACELLA: That’s what I’m saying, is at some point you start connecting the dots and you’re like, dude, they are doing a Satanic cult. They’re in a death cult. Not even—dude, evidence is pointing towards they want to kill a fuck-ton of people.

As I’ve also written before, comedy’s current crop of far-right extremists entered the industry through its fringes. They built audiences on marginal platforms like Compound Media and GaS Digital, then brought these audiences with them into more traditional clubs and theaters. That’s how Gillis got where he is, and now that he’s there, he’s using his massive platform to help his extremist friends speed-run their own paths—or paths back—to fame and fortune.

It may be comforting to tell ourselves that all these people are too extreme to ever make it big, but we need only look at Shane Gillis to see just how famous outright bigots can get. 

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