Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson thinks his time on the show is coming to an end.
Pete Davidson made headlines at Saturday Night Live before he ever stepped on stage. Now, in his fifth season at the show, Davidson has his eyes on the exit.
In an interview with Charlamagne Tha God, Davidson spoke about his experiences behind-the-scenes at Saturday Night Live. The comedian isn’t exactly fond of his reputation there, saying that he feels the show portrays him as “dumb” and has made him a punchline.
Davidson went on to suggest that he has outgrown the show and that he’s “done as much as [he] can” at Saturday Night Live. His relationship with Lorne Michaels remains strong and Davidson expressed that his loyalty to Michaels is partly responsible for him remaining at SNL.
The comedian isn’t wrong when he says that everyone eventually outgrows SNL or that he has reached his ceiling at the show. All signs point to Davidson leaving at the end of this season in what would likely be the best for both sides.
Davidson made his Saturday Night Live debut in season 40, becoming one of the youngest cast members in history at 20 years old and the first born in the ’90s. Davidson’s age and comedy style made an instant splash and he found himself a regular at the “Weekend Update” desk.
The stand-up turned sketch performer then found himself an even bigger story when he dated/was engaged to pop star Ariana Grande. Davidson soon became known much more for his relationships and personal life than what he was doing on Saturday Night Live.
And what Davidson does do on SNL is, by his own admission, limited. His “Weekend Update” appearances are entertaining even if the brand of comedy isn’t for everyone. He has improved over the years as his talents as a stand-up have done the same.
Davidson leaving the cast won’t leave a hole in the same way it would if another performer left. It would be similar to the departure of Leslie Jones, another talented comic who fared better at the “Update” desk than in sketches.
If the environment for Davidson is as uncomfortable as he described, then it would be best for him to move on. Nobody wants to work in a place where they’re looking over their shoulder constantly or worried that they’re seen as a joke to others. Cast members have rallied to Davidson’s side in the past but only he can really know what it’s like for him day in and day out.
Davidson’s mental health has been a public topic of discussion in recent years. A work life like the one he describes at SNL can’t be a good thing or a situation that is sustainable long-term.
This latest interview has brought more attention to Saturday Night Live for the wrong reasons once again. The show was all over the news before season 45 even began for first hiring and then firing controversial comedian Shane Gillis. Whether stories like that or Davidson’s private life, it isn’t exactly an “all press is good press” situation for the show.
Davidson was largely treated unfairly for his relationship with Ariana Grande by tabloids, fans, and social media. It became a running joke on Saturday Night Live, crossing a line that in hindsight should not have been crossed.
Yes, fans enjoy hearing behind-the-scenes stories from Studio 8H. There have been plenty of books and articles dedicated to it. But SNL is best served when no one cast member is bigger than the show and nothing distracts from the comedy.
Partly due to no fault of his own, Pete Davidson has become that for Saturday Night Live. He has outgrown the show both in terms of what he can contribute and in terms of his celebrity status. Davidson is justified in questioning his future and preparing his exit. And if he does, we’ll always have Chad and “The Jungle” to look back on.
What did you think of Pete Davidson’s comments about Saturday Night Live? Do you want him to stick around or do you think it’s time to go? Let us know in the comment section below.