Pete Davidson indicates he will not be returning for Saturday Night Live season 47, saying he’s not interested in breaking any tenure records.
Pete Davidson hints he will not be returning for Saturday Night Live season 47. Davidson joined the cast as a featured player for the show’s 40th season in 2014, along with comedians Leslie Jones and Michael Che. At 20 years old, he was one of the show’s youngest cast members, putting him in the company of household names like Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, and Eddie Murphy, who is arguably the show’s most legendary breakout star. Davidson also went on to co-write and star in the dramedy film The King of Staten Island, a semi-autobiographical work released last year.
With a history that spans decades, cast members leaving Saturday Night Live has long been a part of the show. The program is frequently rotating through talent, as performers leave to pursue other opportunities in the industry. Having been part of Saturday Night Live for seven years, Davidson’s spent a good portion of his career on the sketch show. Based on his latest comments, he could be looking to step away from SNL and begin his next phase.
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During the THR Comedy Actor’s Roundtable, host Lacey Rose asked Chris Redd and Davidson how they felt about doing as many SNL seasons as Thompson, who is the longest-tenured SNL cast member in the show’s 46-year history. Redd saluted Thompson but immediately rejected the possibility, and Davidson followed suit saying, “Yeah I’m good. I’m surprised I made it to seven. I’m ready to hang up the jersey. Kenan’s like f**kin’ Karl Malone out there.” Redd emphasized the arduous schedule of SNL, particularly for cast members who are filming other shows or roles, saying “it’s boot camp.” However, he also acknowledged that the culture of the show has changed to make it easier for cast members to pursue other projects.
Davidson rose to fame quickly after joining SNL, due in large part to his youth and fresh perspective. He acts in many sketches and plays characters like the frustratingly chill “Chad,” but perhaps his most recognizable SNL character is himself. Unusual for the show, Davidson often joins the “Weekend Update” desk as himself to discuss his real personal life, including his relationships with celebrities like Ariana Grande and his experiences with chronic and mental illness. But Davidson’s life doesn’t serve as fodder for jokes delivered by him alone. In 2020, the comedian opened up about his frustration with being used for jokes by other cast members, often in episodes in which Davidson doesn’t appear. He didn’t specify any individuals, but he resented not knowing when he is the joke versus when he’s in on the joke. During the THR Roundtable, he admitted he wasn’t very proud of how he handled his past frustration, and that this season of SNL was his favorite yet.
Although Davidson has not made any official statement regarding his status at SNL, he has previously taken breaks from appearing on the show to address his health. A permanent departure after this season will more likely be motivated by his continuously rising stardom as a comedian and an actor. The King of Staten Island did remarkably well for a movie release during the coronavirus pandemic, and headlines about Davidson don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Davidson might not be in Studio 8H next fall, but rest assured this will not be his last time onscreen.
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