On Saturday’s show, Davidson made a joke about Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL and Republican congressional candidate who wears an eye patch. “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie,” Davidson said. “I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.” Crenshaw lost his eye in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2012.
Davidson’s remark made waves on social media, with many criticizing him for his insensitivity.
As a close friend and colleague of Davidson, Thompson attempted to clarify the joke on “Today,” telling the hosts: “He definitely missed the mark. I think he was more so commenting on the fact that the joke maybe didn’t land as hard as he wanted it to, as opposed to being like ‘I don’t care about veterans.’”
Thompson also said it “definitely seems” that Davidson crossed a line, adding that his own father’s a Vietnam veteran and he “personally would never necessarily go there.”
“But it’s tough when you’re fishing for jokes,” he went on. “Like, that’s how stand-ups feel like there’s no real filters out there in the world when they’re trying to go for a great joke, or whatever. And we try to respect that, but at the same time, when you miss the mark, you’re offending people. So you have to really be a little more aware, in my opinion.”
Thompson also called Davidson a “very humble dude” with a “big heart” and said he doesn’t believe Davidson “goes out to offend people.”
“Stand-ups, they’re the ones that help us laugh through the most awful things in the first place, so they’re always fishing in weird places,” Thompson said. “And that was an unfortunate outcome.”