Kenan Thompson defends 'scrutinized' former SNL star Pete Davidson

The veteran comedian thinks fans are too hard on Davidson.
American Museum Of Natural History 2018 Gala
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Pete Davidson occupies an interesting place in Saturday Night Live history. He was one of the most prominent cast members on the show during his tenure, but he also did very little. He did not appear on the show as often as one might expect, as most of his fame derived from his offscreen antics.

Namely, who he was dating. Pete Davidson's love life has been a tabloid for nearly a decade, and this emphasis led many SNL viewers to dismiss his comedic talents outright. This never sat right with his veteran co-star, Kenan Thompson.

Kenan Thompson said he was "proud" of Davidson

Kenan Thompson
Columbia Pictures' "Anyone But You" New York Premiere / Dia Dipasupil/GettyImages

Thompson, who has seen it all and done it all on the SNL stage, recently talked about Davidson during an interview with Variety. He felt that the comedian was much too "scrutinized" during his time on the show, and felt like he suffered from the current state of pop culture analysis:

"It’s not easy to be in all that scrutiny all the time. I feel like this is the most scrutinized time on the planet. Everybody’s watching everything and commenting about everything."

Thompson said he was extremely proud of Davidson for sticking it out as long as he did, and for returning to host the first episode of season 49. The episode was well-received, but was surprising to many, as the comedian had just left the show just two seasons prior.

Davidson hosted SNL after his 2022 departure

Davidson issued a statement when he left SNL in 2022. Fittingly, he mentions Kenan Thompson as one of the cast members who he marveled at. "When I got the show I was 20 years old and I had no idea what I was doing," Davidson wrote. "I knew I could never keep up or go toe to toe with a Kenan Thompson or a Kate McKinnon so I was super scared at figuring out what I could possibly bring..."

The comedian ended his lengthy statement by calling SNL his "home" and praising his co-stars, as well as creator Lorne Michaels, for giving him a platform to live out his dream.

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