Pete Davidson has been a cast member on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” for four seasons. The 24-year-old scored an audition for the sketch comedy show after a recommendation from “SNL” alum and “Trainwreck” co-star Bill Hader.
At 20 years old, Davidson became one of the youngest “SNL” cast members of all time(slightly older than Anthony Michael Hall, who was 17, and Eddie Murphy, who was 19).
Although Davidson often describes himself as a “utility player” for “SNL” and jokes about how infrequently he appears in live sketches, he has apparently made an impression on its legendary showrunner Lorne Michaels. Davidson will return to Studio 8H as a cast member when the show kicks off its 44th season this weekend.
In preparation, here’s a roundup of Davidson’s best skits, moments, and jokes – in no particular order.
“Pete Davidson Talks Business” sparked both praise and condemnation.
Davidson made his “SNL” debut on September 2014. He was introduced as the show’s “Resident Young Person” on the “Weekend Update” segment. (Coincidentally, his fianceé Ariana Grande was the season premiere musical guest on the same episode.)
Davidson was asked to comment on a trending news story, which involved a teenager getting arrested for photographing himself in a sexual position with a statue of Jesus.
“I don’t approve of what he did, but kids my age do that stuff all the time. For example, have you ever played the ‘how much money would you go down on a guy for’ game?” Davidson begins. “One of your friends will be like, ‘Hey man, would you go down on a guy for a million dollars?’ And then we’d all lie and be like, ‘No.'”
“Of course I would, a million dollars is a steal,” he continues. “I hope he starts at a million. I would do it for like 3,000, if I had to be honest with myself.”
“Tucci Gang” imagined a world in which Lil Pump and Sam Rockwell are best friends — and obsessed with Stanley Tucci.
Davidson’s spoof of Lil Pump’s music video for “Gucci Gang,” paying homage to the legendary “The Devil Wears Prada” actor, is unexpectedly and weirdly relatable.
“Pool Boy” introduced Davidson’s reoccurring character Chad.
The dumb yet confusingly charming Chad made his debut as the 23-year-old pool boy having an affair with Mrs. Handler (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).
He opened up about his borderline personality disorder for “Pete Davidson on Mental Health.”
“I was born depressed – but it might make me feel better if I was on TV more,” Davidson joked on “Weekend Update.”
“Maybe one approach might be to write more sketches for yourself,” Colin Jost suggested during their lively back-and-forth.
“That won’t work, my sketches suck because they’re all written by a depressed person,” Davidson replied.
“The Jungle” is a fan-favourite sketch starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
In this “Indiana Jones” spoof, one of Davidson’s early successes as a cast member, he was repeatedly forced to suck poison out of The Rock’s body – putting the two in increasingly sexual positions.
IFC noted that the sketch is “worth watching just for Pete Davidson’s barrel roll alone.”
“Bachelor Auction” welcomed the hilarious return of Chad.
In Chad’s funniest appearance thus far, he was again the object of irresistible affection – with wealthy women (including Saoirse Ronan) growing increasingly thirsty and out-bidding each other for a date with him.
Looking back, the sketch seemed to predict Davidson’s own reputation for “Big Dick Energy” in real life – explained by The Cut as “that thing that makes people bogglingly attractive to others.”
He ripped his hometown to shreds for “Pete Davidson on Staten Island.”
Davidson expertly utilised Jost, who also hails from Staten Island, as the perfect foil for his dark humour and questionable reputation.
“They love you,” he told Jost. “Because you represent what they could be. A kid who got out and went to Harvard … The reason Staten Island hates me is ’cause I represent what they are: a mentally ill, community college drop-out who got a ‘Game of Thrones‘ tattoo before watching the show.”
“Meet Cute” cast Davidson as the romantic hero fruitlessly searching for his soul mate (Kristen Stewart).
Davidson’s throwaway lines capture the ridiculousness of immediate chemistry between characters in many rom-coms: “She’s like, this tall, and she doesn’t tell you, like, important stuff?”
He discussed his mental illness again for “Pete Davidson on Kevin Love.”
After NBA star Kevin Love penned a personal essay about having a panic attack, Davidson took to “Weekend Update” to explain why he felt a little jealous.
“It’s totally cool that he had a panic attack, but if you’re gonna write an article about being unstable, leave it to the big boys, alright?” he quipped.
Davidson showed off his Adam Sandler impression for “Jurassic Park Auditions.”
Despite repeatedly insisting in interviews that he can’t do impressions, Davidson’s Adam Sandler character is dead-on.
In “Teacher Trial,” he embodied the role of a childish Casanova perfectly.
This sketch played on the idea of a male student having sex with an attractive female teacher – and being lauded for it. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the “SNL” cast making sense on that witness stand.
He got political for “Pete Davidson’s Trumpdate.”
Few comedians could make a reference to Sanjaya from “American Idol” feel extremely relevant in a monologue about Donald Trump.
“Farewell Mr. Bunting” is the definition of dark humour.
While this sketch was certainly a team effort, Davidson’s role shines brightest during the twist ending.
He tackled the problem with slut-shaming for “Pete Davidson on Hulk Hogan.”
For this “Weekend Update” segment, Davidson responded to Hulk Hogan’s $US140 million victory against Gawker, the website that published the wrestler’s sex tape without his permission.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a tape of two adults having consensual sex. So why are we slut-shaming Hulk Hogan? Why do we slut-shame anyone? ‘Cause that’s a real problem,” Davidson said.
“Why do guys make fun of women for doing something we spend every night praying that they will do to us?” he continued. “Like, we gotta stop making girls feel bad for having sex with random guys – or they will stop having sex with random guys. Is that the world you wanna live in?”
Davidson showed off his acting chops in “WWII Scene.”
As a dying soldier, Davidson begs his sergeant (Lin-Manuel Miranda) to dispose of some questionable objects. While the entire dialogue is fairly ridiculous, Davidson’s comfortable delivery carries the scene.
He responded to the infamous bathroom law for “Pete Davidson on Transgender Rights.”
When voters rejected the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which would have required businesses to allow transgender people access to the bathroom that reflects their gender identity, Davidson reflected on the strange fear of men in women’s restrooms.
“The theory is that men – in their relentless quest to watch women go to the bathroom – are going through years of hormones, surgery, changing their name, their wardrobe, coming out to their family – all for that big payoff of peeing in a room without urinals,” he quipped.
“Even if, for some reason, you’re desperate to use women’s bathrooms, you don’t need a sex change to do it,” he continued. “You can just walk in. There’s no bouncer.”
“Lion King Auditions” features Davidson’s understated — yet somehow spot-on — impression of Eminem.
All he had to do was walk around.
He took on the NFL’s kneeling controversy for “Pete Davidson on Colin Kaepernick.”
When Colin Kaepernick wasn’t hired by any NFL teams after kneeling during the national anthem, Davidson expressed his support for the quarterback in a wide-ranging monologue.
“It would have been nice if one of the players who was already selling jerseys had the balls to speak out against racism,” he said.
“You know, like if I came out and I made a big political statement on behalf of ‘SNL,’ everyone would be saying, ‘Oh that’s nice and all, but like, shouldn’t Kate be doing this? I don’t care what Pete thinks. Is he still on the show? Where is he?’ That’s a direct quote from my mother.”
“‘Queer Eye’s’ Tan France Takes Pete Davidson Shopping” sees the two stars sparking up an adorable friendship.
In this web extra, “Queer Eye” fashion expert Tan France naturally brought out the best in Davidson, who described his own style as “Staten Island trash.”
“I feel like Timothée Chalamet,” Davidson observed. “I look like I know directions.”
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