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Pete Davidson

Pete Davidson

Peter Michael Davidson (born November 16, 1993)[2] is an American comedian and actor. He is a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Davidson has also appeared on the MTV shows Guy Code, Wild 'n Out, and Failosophy.[3][4] He has performed stand-up comedy on Adam DeVine's House Party, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Comedy Underground with Dave Attell, and guest-starred in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.[5]

Pete Davidson
Birth namePeter Michael Davidson[1]
Born(1993-11-16)November 16, 1993
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
  • Stand-up
  • television
  • film
Years active2010–present
  • American culture
  • American politics
  • everyday life
  • gender differences
  • human behavior
  • social awkwardness
  • dating
  • current events
  • pop culture

Early life

Davidson was born November 16, 1993, in Staten Island, New York, the son of Amy (née Waters) and Scott Matthew Davidson.[2][6] His father was of mostly Jewish heritage and his mother is of Irish ancestry; Davidson was raised Catholic.[7][8] He has a younger sister named Casey.[9] His father was a New York City firefighter who died in service during the September 11 attacks;[10][11] he was last seen running up the stairs of the Marriott World Trade Center, just before it collapsed. Davidson, then seven years old, was profoundly affected by the loss. He told The New York Times that it was "overwhelming" and that he later acted out in school as a result of the trauma; at one point, he ripped his hair out until he was bald.[7] In October 2016, Davidson revealed on The Breakfast Club morning radio show that he struggled with suicidal thoughts when he was younger, and that the music of rap artist Kid Cudi saved his life.[12]

Davidson first tried stand-up comedy at age 16 in a Staten Island bowling alley, where a group of friends, knowing of his comedy aspirations, dared him to take to the stage. He did so only after smoking marijuana.[13] Davidson, who has suffered from Crohn's disease since the age of 17 or 18, at the time said he "cannot function" without marijuana, adding that he would not be able to work on Saturday Night Live, and that attempts to perform without it have not been successful. He explained that "I can perform when I'm not high, but it wouldn't be that much fun for me."[14] He attended St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School, then Tottenville High School before transferring to Xaverian High School in Brooklyn where he graduated in 2011. His mother still works as the school nurse at the latter. Following high school, he enrolled at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights,[6] remaining briefly before dropping out.[5][15]


Davidson's earliest onscreen appearance was in the third episode of the MTV comedy series Failosophy, which premiered February 28, 2013.[16] The following month, he appeared in "PDA and Moms," a third-season episode of the MTV2 reality TV comedy series Guy Code, the first of four episodes in which he was featured.[3] That June, his first televised standup aired as part of a second-season episode of the Comedy Central program Gotham Comedy Live, which showcases standup comedians at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. The following month, he returned to MTV2 with an appearance on Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out, his first of six episode appearances on that show.

Davidson subsequently made standup appearances on television and appeared in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.[17] In 2014, he acquired a role in a Fox comedy pilot, Sober Companion,[18] but it ultimately did not make it to series.[19]

Davidson joined the cast of Saturday Night Live with that show's 40th-season premiere, which debuted on September 27, 2014. At age 20, he was the first SNL cast member to be born in the 1990s, and one of the youngest cast members ever.[15][20] The first new addition to the cast that season,[5] Davidson was given a chance to audition for the show through regular Bill Hader, whom he had met while filming a small part in the 2015 Judd Apatow feature film comedy Trainwreck.[21] Hader subsequently told producer Lorne Michaels about him. His debut garnered positive critical notice,[21][22] with his most noted skits during the season including an Indiana Jones-style sketch in which he and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, after being pelted with poison darts, were forced to mutually suck poison out of each other's various body parts,[13][23] an endeavor that eventually found them entangled in the "69" position.[24] Another involved Davidson being shot in the chest with an arrow by Norman Reedus.[13]

In March 2015, Davidson was a roaster on the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber,[25] and his set was praised as one of the best of the show.[26] Among his bolder jokes was one at the expense of fellow roaster Snoop Dogg and host Kevin Hart, and their 2004 film Soul Plane. Davidson, whose firefighter father died responding to the September 11 attacks, called that film "the worst experience of my life involving a plane."[13]

In 2016, Davidson was on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.[27] In April of that year, Comedy Central filmed Davidson's first stand-up special Pete Davidson: SMD, in New York City.[28]

In January 2019, it was announced that Davidson would be touring with John Mulaney in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts for a limited series of comedy shows titled, "Sundays with Pete & John." Mulaney and Davidson have become close appearing together on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live.[29] That May, after the 44th-season finale of SNL, Travis M. Andrews of The Washington Post credited Davidson with being the most memorable performer that season, and its breakout star, which Andrews attributed to Davidson's mining of his personal struggles and his admission of his comedic missteps, which Andrews felt gave the season a mixture of comedy and pathos.[30]

Comedy style

Davidson has been praised for basing his comedy on his own life and employing aspects of his life that have been likened to "a series of brutal truths and vulgar confessions," and which make him relatable to audiences. Touching upon topics such as marijuana, sex, and relationships, incidents he relates include those from his awkward high school experiences to living in a dormitory during his brief stint at St. Francis College.[15] Davidson jokes about highly sensitive subjects, including the loss of his father during the September 11 attacks. He says he finds that it empowers him to address the feeling of powerlessness that experiencing such tragedy at a young age inflicted upon him.[7] He is a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, and has incorporated that material into his comedy work as well.[15][21]


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn demanded an apology from Pete Davidson after he compared the Catholic Church to R. Kelly.[31] In a statement posted to its website, the Catholic Church criticized the "disgraceful and offensive skit", further opining:

The faithful of our Church are disgusted by the harassment by those in news and entertainment, and this sketch offends millions. The mockery of this difficult time in the Church's history serves no purpose.[32]

Pete Davidson was heavily criticized for mocking Dan Crenshaw's eye patch, which covers an injury he received while serving as a U.S. Navy SEAL in Afghanistan.[33] Davidson compared Crenshaw to a "a hit man in a porno movie", and added, "I'm sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever."[34][35][36][37][38]

In response, the following Saturday, Davidson and Crenshaw appeared on the SNL 'Weekend Update'. Davidson apologized to Crenshaw, stating, "I mean this from the bottom of my heart, it was a poor choice of words...The man is a war hero, and he deserves all the respect in the world." Crenshaw accepted the apology, and called on Americans to "never forget" the service and sacrifices of our veterans.[39] He also paid tribute to Davidson's father, a firefighter who was killed on 9/11.[40] Crenshaw and others have speculated that the joke may have helped him win Texas's 2nd congressional district in the midterm election.[41][42]

Personal life

As of October 2015, Davidson lived in Brooklyn Heights, New York[7] and he lived in Staten Island, New York with his mother as of April 2019.[43][44][45]

His father was a firefighter and first-responder during the September 11 attacks. Davidson has his father's badge number, 8418, tattooed on his left arm.[7]

Davidson supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and on December 5, 2017, he stated on his Instagram account that he got a tattoo on his leg of Clinton, whom he called his "hero", a "badass", and "one of the strongest people in the universe." Clinton herself thanked Davidson for the compliment, joking, "This makes it significantly less awkward that I've had a Pete Davidson tattoo for years."[46]

He was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 17 or 18,[14] for which he receives intravenous treatment,[7] and used medical marijuana as a pain reliever.[14] On March 6, 2017, Davidson announced on his Instagram account that he had quit drugs and was sober for the first time in eight years.[12] During an interview on comedian Marc Maron's podcast, Davidson clarified that the only drug he used was marijuana and, while he has since cut back its use considerably, the personal problems he initially assumed were a result of his daily marijuana habit were actually caused by borderline personality disorder, for which he has since been undergoing treatment.[47][48]

Davidson dated comedian Carly Aquilino from 2014 until 2015,[16] and dated Cazzie David from 2016 to 2018.[49][50][51] On June 20, 2018, Davidson confirmed that he and singer and actress Ariana Grande were engaged to be married.[52] On October 14, 2018, it was reported that the engagement was called off.[53][54][55] Grande's song "Pete Davidson" appears on her 2018 album Sweetener. She also referenced him in her song, "Thank U, Next", with the lyric, "Even almost got married, And for Pete I'm so thankful." The accompanying part of the music video featured a picture of the couple with the caption, "Sry I dipped Pete. I love u always. HUUUUUGE", a likely apology for the breakup.[56]

On December 15, 2018, Davidson shared a candid Instagram post in which he expressed thoughts of suicide, before deleting his account on the social media platform entirely.[57] Concern from Grande, his friends and Internet users resulted in the New York Police Department conducting a wellness check on Davidson, who was found safe at the studios for Saturday Night Live.[58] Davidson only appeared live once on that night's episode of SNL, when he introduced a musical performance by Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson and Sean Lennon.[59] Davidson returned to SNL the following episode, January 19, 2019, and on the Weekend Update segment he appeared alongside comedian and former SNL writer John Mulaney in which they made a reference to his Instagram post.[60]

In late January 2019, Davidson began dating actress Kate Beckinsale. They were first seen together at the Golden Globe Awards after party in January. They made their first public appearance together making out while attending a hockey game at New York City's Madison Square Garden on March 3.[61] As of late April 2019, the couple had separated after nearly four months of dating.[62] In late August 2019 it was reported that Davidson had started dating actress Margaret Qualley.[63]



2013TubbyManPipeKleenerShort film
2014School DanceStinkfinger
2015TrainwreckDr. Conner's Patient
2018Set It UpDuncan
2019Big Time AdolescenceZeke
2019What Men WantDanny
2019The DirtTom Zutaut
2019The Angry Birds Movie 2Jerry EagleVoice
2020The Jesus RollsJackPost-production
2020Untitled Judd Apatow/Pete Davidson filmTylerPost-production; also writer


2013Guy CodeHimself4 episodes
2013–2017Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N OutHimself7 episodes
2013Brooklyn Nine-NineStevenEpisode: "The Slump"
2013Adam DeVine's House PartyHimselfEpisode: "Stunt Audition"
2014–presentSaturday Night LiveHimself, VariousMain cast
2015Comedy Central Roast of Justin BieberHimself (roaster)TV special
2016Comedy Central Roast of Rob LoweHimself (roaster)TV special
2016Pete Davidson: SMDHimselfStand-up special
2016The Jim Gaffigan ShowJeffyEpisode: "The List"
2017Saturday Night Live Weekend Update ThursdayHimselfEpisode: "4.3"
2018Lip Sync BattleHimselfEpisode "Pete Davidson vs. Michael Bolton"

See also

  • List of people diagnosed with Crohn's disease


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