Crenshaw told NBC affiliate KPRC that on Sunday, after hearing about the comedian’s alarming post on social media, he picked up the phone.
“It was pretty devastating,” Crenshaw said. “You don’t want to see somebody in that kind of position to the point where they’re actually putting out a cry for help on social media. That’s not a good place to be in.
“We don’t go back very far. We’re not good friends. But I think he appreciated hearing from me,” Crenshaw told KPRC. “What I told him was this: Everybody has a purpose in this world. God put you here for a reason. It’s your job to find that purpose — and you should live that way.”
It’s not certain whether Davidson’s remarks were related to the recent controversy.
The controversy arose last month after a segment of SNL’s “Weekend Update” in which anchor Michael Che and Davidson were discussing political candidates.
When a picture of Crenshaw in an eye patch appeared on the screen, Davidson said, “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie.”
“I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever,” he added, shrugging and grinning. “Whatever.”
Crenshaw lost his right eye in a 2012 bomb blast in Afghanistan during his third combat tour.
As The Washington Post’s Travis M. Andrews reported, after the uproar over Davidson’s joke, he apologized “in one of the more shocking moments in modern SNL history,” saying, “I made a joke about Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw, and on behalf of the show and myself, I apologize.
“I mean this from the bottom of my heart. It was a poor choice of words,” the comedian added. “The man is a war hero, and he deserves all the respect in the world.”
Then he apologized to Crenshaw face-to-face.
“For people who don’t know,” he added, “the reason you’re wearing an eye patch right now is that you lost your eye to an IED in Afghanistan during your third combat tour, and I’m sorry.”
In the past year, Davidson has talked openly about his mental health, saying that he has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Earlier this month, he wrote on Instagram that he had been “getting online bullied and in public by people for 9 months” and that he was “trying to understand how when something happens to a guy the entire world just trashes him without any facts or frame of reference.”
Crenshaw told KPRC that when he talked to Davidson over the weekend, he told him, “Know that you have value and that you do more good than you realize for people.”
“Especially a guy like that,” Crenshaw added. “He makes people laugh. Sometimes he makes people mad — but he makes people laugh a lot. And that’s what we talked about. It was a good conversation.”