SNL's most-watched pre-taped sketch of season 49 proves Pete Davidson's staying power

The pre-taped sketch from the season 49 premiere racked up the most views, and we're not surprised.
Paramount's "Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts" New York Premiere
Paramount's "Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts" New York Premiere / Theo Wargo/GettyImages

Saturday Night Live season 49 came to a close on May 18, and NBC is now looking back at its most viral sketches to determine which were the most watched. While the most-watched live sketch was, unsurprisingly, Ryan Gosling and Mikey Day's Beavis and Butthead skit, the biggest pre-taped skit came all the way back in the season premiere when former cast member Pete Davidson returned to 30 Rock to host.

The SNL Instagram account shared their rankings for season 49 (as reported by Cinema Blend) revealing the most-watched pre-taped sketch of the most recent installment as Davidson's "I'm Just Pete" performance. I mean, can you even be surprised? Taking the hit song sung by Ryan Gosling in Greta Gerwig's Barbie and putting his own spin on it, "I'm Just Pete" pokes fun at the comedian's real-life struggles in a hilarious way.

"I'm Just Pete" is the most-watched pre-taped SNL skit of season 49

Donning platinum white hair, bright pink pants, and an unbuttoned blue jacket, Davidson appears in a Barbie-inspired world, singing self-deprecating lines about his life. With lyrics like, "People online still call me 'Skete' because of a guy whose name I can't say legally," in reference, of course, to Kanye West, as well as "And out of the blue, like three times a year, when you least expect it, I go to rehab," Davidson doesn't shy away from all the headlines.

Unsurprisingly, Davidson also references his "BD energy," something he's pretty much known for now. Though Barbie had premiered four months before this skit, SNL would be remiss if they didn't do something around the box office hit when the show returned. The delay in season after the usual summer hiatus was due to the writers' strike.

The video has 14 million views on YouTube and nearly 7,000 comments, with fans praising Davidson's comedic charm and openness to lean into the gossip and criticism that's been spread about him on the internet. We can always count on Davidson to confront the uncomfortable, and maybe that's one reason his appearance on SNL was a hit despite him no longer being part of the cast. I watched this skit multiple times after he hosted, and it truly never gets old!

Despite a couple of good episodes and funny skits throughout season 49, overall it was, unfortunately, another lackluster installment of the NBC sketch comedy show. The writers seem to miss the mark so often and can't keep up with the latest trends and viral moments to poke fun at. It's like they're always a step behind. Even a superstar host can't save SNL at this point, which is a disappointing realization.

But when we have someone like Davidson on the show, however, it's worth the watch. Maybe it's because he has experience as a cast member on the show, or maybe it's because he's a different kind of comedian who brings something special to everything he does. Whatever the explanation may be, there's no denying his power. And whether you love him or hate him, he's a highlight of a show that's been going downhill for a while now. That's an impressive feat.