At age 21, Pete Davidson is achieving his dreams of performing stand-up comedy, and recently landed a spot on Saturday Night Live.
Last night, Davidson presented a comedy routine at the University of Rhode Island in Edwards Auditorium, hosted by the Student Entertainment Committee.
Special guest comedian Ray Harrington opened the show, immediately joking about crowd surfing into the audience. Harrington went on to make jokes about members of the audience, as well as the university. Originally from Maine, Harrington now lives in Rhode Island, and offered some jokes from his personal life, touching on the subject of his newborn baby. Harrington’s set was bubbly and revved the audience for the headlining performance.
Davidson, unlike Harrington, had a different approach to his jokes. He opened the show discussing college and the struggles of living in a dorm. From there, he discussed the feeling of turning 21 and how although the age allows people to legally purchase their own drinks, he believes that all the thrill of drinking is when it’s done underage.
For parts of his sketch, Davidson made many vulgar comments regarding mentally handicapped people, the WNBA, Catholicism, homeless people and hard drugs, but suggested, “If you are easily offended, this is not going to be a good show for you.“ He said that some of his “mean” comments were due to his bad experience on his flight earlier that morning, and sarcastically apologized for “trying to be funny.”
Other jokes included references to marijuana, the new Xbox game system, girls and relationships, “Instagram dads,” “The Walking Dead”, “Pretty Little Liars” and Hillary Clinton. He shared stories of pretending to be a ghost on the subway, the first time he smoked marijuana and sexual endeavors.
After his show, Davidson held a short Q&A with the audience, where things got a little personal. He shared his fear of sharks, his distaste for social media and his thoughts on both Justin Bieber and Martha Stewart, whom he previously “roasted” on an SNL special. Davidson also shared the story of how he asked out his current girlfriend and offered the advice to guys in the audience that if you have a girl best friend, to not be afraid to take things to the next level.
Davidson explained how he first started his comedy career six short years ago. He said that he only had one best friend when he was younger and that he convinced him to try stand-up comedy. Although his friend found him hysterical, Davidson never believed that he had the potential or skills to become a great comedian.
For the first two years, Davidson paid to get on stage. He said that he lost more money than he gained, but he made sure to make his appearance in the comedy world as much as he could. Conveniently, he ended up meeting Nick Canon on the street, and opened a few of his shows. Davidson claimed that once he got his foot in the door, it’s easier to move higher up as a comedian.
While filming a small part in the movie “Train Wreck” over the summer, Davidson met SNL character Bill Hader, and claimed the two “hit it off.” Hader recommended him for SNL, and Davidson decided to try out. After months, he received a call back to become a cast member. He described the entire thing as random, but believes he is “the luckiest person ever.”
He expressed that he has the best relationship with SNL cast member Keenan Thompson who he described as “exactly who you’d think he was like.”
“It’s crazy to work with someone I’ve grown up watching,” Davidson said. “For 20 years I’ve watched him on SNL, and now, we’re working alongside each other.”
Recently, Davidson was named one of Variety’s top 10 comics to watch for 2014. He is the youngest member of the current cast and is the only member that was born in the 1990s. Aside from SNL, he is a series regular on the MTV programs “Guy Code”, “Wild ’n Out” and “Failosophy”, as well as occasional stand-up appearances on “Adam Devine’s House Party”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, “Comedy Underground with Dave Attell” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”.
Liz Malloy, Student Entertainment Committee member, explained that the committee chose Davidson to come to URI because they believed he would be a good fit for the school because of the relevant Justin Bieber “roast” currently going on. She said that since he is young and could connect with the crowd, he would be the best option.
“I think it went well and he did connect with the crowd,” Malloy said. “He is a comedian, so there is always going to be good and bad things that the crowd agree with or don’t. Personally, I have a very different sense of humor than he does, but I still think he was very aware of what he was saying and knew what the crowd wanted.” She said that although comedy is a good way to make people feel less sensitive about things, there is a proper way to do so, and there is definitely a fine line.
Davidson admitted that some of his jokes bombed during the night, but as a comedian, it’s most important to be okay with bombing sometimes, because every stand-up is a learning experience.