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'Life Goes On' Star Chris Burke Defends Shane Gillis 'SNL' Down Syndrome Jokes

shan gillis chris Burke


Chris Burke, who has Down Syndrome, is defending Shane Gillis over the comedian’s polarizing monologue on “Saturday Night Live” … he’s got no issues with Shane making Down Syndrome jokes.

The “Life Goes On” star tells TMZ … people with Down Syndrome are just like everybody else and shouldn’t be excluded from being joked about by comedians.

Chris Burke in "Life Goes On"

Everett Collection

Chris, the first actor with Down Syndrome to star in a TV series, says it would actually be more offensive for comedians to exclude people with Down Syndrome from being the subjects of jokes.

Shane spent the majority of his 8-minute monologue poking fun at his family … including a niece who has Down Syndrome … and he mostly glossed over the 2019 scandal that got him fired from ‘SNL.’



Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast

Chris says folks shouldn’t pass judgment on Shane here because no one knows how he dealt and coped with having a niece with Down Syndrome. As a result, Chris feels Shane isn’t making these jokes out of ignorance.


TMZ Studios

In fact, Shane’s jokes kinda jibe with what Chris is saying.


A Fair One

While some people were naturally turned off by Shane, Chris sees some positives.

At the very least, he says Shane’s monologue helped start a conversation about Down Syndrome and how people living with the condition are normal folks who can experience all aspects of life, including being joked about.

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