Matt McCusker co-hosted “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast” alongside Shane Gillis. In 2018, the pair broadcast a controversial episode that saw Gillis use a racial slur when describing Chinese people.
The episode came to light after Gillis was hired as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” in September 2019 alongside Bowen Yang, the show’s first Asian cast member, and Chloe Fineman. Reports Seth Simons unearthed clips of Gillis and McCusker mocking Jewish and Chinese people. In the episode, McCusker makes a false claim that Chinese people invented MSG. While in other unearthed clips, the pair rank comedians by sexual orientation, sex and race, while also using homophobic slurs.
McCusker says in one segment that “Southeast Asian women take the cake,” when ranking women from Asia in terms of beauty. Gillis responded by saying, “You like ladyboys?” McCusker then says, “No I don’t love ladyboys. That’s one thing I can’t party with dude.” Gills replies, “You can’t party with ladyboys? I bet you can.” Gillis says that the show’s fans should set up a Patreon crowdfunding page in order to pay for McCusker to take a trip to Thailand.
In response to the clips, Gillis described himself as a “comedian who pushes boundaries.”
On September 16, “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels announced that Gillis would not be joining the show.
Here’s what you need to know Shane Gillis’ co-host:
1. In 2014, McCusker Was Named ‘Philly’s Funniest’
According to an online bio, McCusker was named as “Philly’s Funniest” in 2014 at the Helium comedy club. That profile notes that McCusker appeared in the Comedy Central web series, “Delco Proper,” and that he opened for Damon Wayans. McCusker was also once a contributing writer for BroBible. His last article for the website was published in 2014.
2. McCusker Graduated From Drexel University
A separate online profile on McCusker says that he is a graduate of Drexel University. McCusker graduated from the school with a degree in International Business in 2009. That biography closes with the words McCusker “enjoys the company of his wife and two Akitas in his humble South Jersey abode.”
3. During His Time at Drexel, McCusker Opened a Vegan Taco Truck With His Brother
According to an article on Drexel University’s website, McCusker set up a vegan taco truck with his brother, Tom, while a student at the school in 2009. The article says of McCusker’s brother, “McCusker is known as the Philly street food godfather. The press made him famous long before he pocketed a dime. He cooked tacos for Chef Gordon Ramsay — a victory for any young business owner.” That article mentions that McCusker’s father had a demolition business and that during the mortgage bubble, the brothers bought a $250,000 home in Powelton Village, Pennsylvania, renting out six of the seven bedrooms in the home and living for free. Philly Food Feed said in a 2011 article that Matt McCusker had left the family business “to pursue wedded bliss with his lovely fiancee.”
That taco truck became a restaurant in Philadelphia in 2016. The restaurant closed in July 2019 with Tom McCusker opting to go into hemp farming and a produce business, according to Philadelphia Magazine.
4. McCusker Wrote a Book in 2018 That Was ‘A Story About Drugs, Disappointment and The American Dream’
In 2018, McCusker wrote a book, “Overlook: A Story About Drugs, Disappointment and The American Dream.” The book is available in paperback for $10.00. The book is described as the “story of five dysfunctional neighbors, denizens of a blue-collar community whose lives become entangled around the “missing” son of a local dry-cleaning magnate.”
The most recent review of the book says that McCusker’s work “stands on its own as a really good creative work.” The reviewer makes reference to most of the positive reviews on the page are related to McCusker’s work on “Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast.” The reviews of the book are overwhelmingly positive.
McCusker’s Amazon profile says that he was born in Havertown, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Garnet Valley. The page jokes, “He has no notable literary achievements to speak of.”
5. Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Said Gillis ‘Deserved Another CHangce to Keep His Job’
The day after Gillis was fired from “Saturday Night Live,” Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who is Taiwanese-American, told CNN, “You know, I’ve been public about my comments. I think that he deserved another chance to keep his job, but the folks at NBC obviously felt differently.” Yang went on, “As the person who was personally called out in this case, I thought that if I could set an example that we can forgive people, particularly in an instance where, in my mind, it was in a comedic context or a gray area, that I thought it would be positive. Obviously, it is in NBC’s hands and they made the decision they made.”
Gillis had said in a statement regarding his firing, “It feels ridiculous for comedians to be making serious public statements.” Gillis continued,” I’m a comedian who was funny enough to get SNL. That can’t be taken away. Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made.” Gillis finished with a joke saying, “I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a mad tv guy anyway.”