The Republican Party may have found a new rising star when Lt. Commander Dan Crenshaw showed up on the Veterans Day weekend edition of "Saturday Night Live" and showed America how to take a joke.
Crenshaw is a former Navy SEAL who won a seat in Congress last week. He'll represent Texas' 2nd District next year as one of at least sixteen newly-elected military veterans.
On the weekend before the election, "SNL" resident goofball Pete Davidson offered his "first impressions" of 2018 candidates and made fun of Crenshaw's eyepatch. The veteran wears that eyepatch because he lost an eye in an IED explosion during his third tour of Afghanistan.
Up until that moment, most of America knew Pete as the guy who just got dumped by Ariana Grande. For the last week, he's taken an online beating for daring to joke about a hero.
Last night, Davidson made a formal apology to Crenshaw during "Weekend Update" and Crenshaw showed up to accept and make some jokes about Davidson.
Here's a recap if you didn't have the patience to watch the video above:
After Crenshaw accepts the apology, his phone goes off and the ringtone is Ariana's 2018 hit "Breathin'." Crenshaw doesn't take the call but doesn't silence the phone, either. Pete, who's been making fun of himself since the engagement fell apart, takes note of the burn.
Crenshaw then gets a chance to give first impressions of a Pete photo and gets in some excellent digs, pointing out that Pete resembles a human version of the meth on "Breaking Bad" and Martin Short's character in "The Santa Clause 3" (pointing out that only one of the two actors was "good on 'SNL'").
Then comes the good part. Crenshaw wanted to use the incident to point out that Americans can learn to forgive each other, no matter what their political beliefs. He then made a powerful suggestion and asked everyone to connect with a veteran on Veterans Day.
"Maybe say, 'Thanks for your service,'" Crenshaw suggested. "But I would actually encourage you to say something else. Tell a veteran 'Never forget.' When you say 'never forget' to a veteran, you are implying that as an American you are in it with them, not separated by some imaginary barrier between civilians and veterans but connected together as grateful fellow Americans who will never forget the sacrifices made by veterans past and present and never forget those we lost on 9/11 — heroes like Pete’s father."
Pete Davidson was seven years old on 9/11. His father, a New York City firefighter, went up a stairwell in the Marriott World Trade Center just before it collapsed.
The segment ends with Dan and Pete shaking hands and saying "never forget" to each other.
Could thick skin and a sense of humor transform politics in America? It couldn't hurt.
If you missed the segment that got Pete in so much trouble, watch it below.