Pete Davidson

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Pete Davidson
A close-up of Davidson's face
Davidson in 2013
Born (1993-11-16) November 16, 1993 (age 24)
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
  • Stand-up
  • television
  • film
Alma mater St. Francis College
Years active 2010–present

Pete Davidson (born November 16, 1993)[1] 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.[2][3] 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.[4]

Early life[edit]

Davidson was born November 16, 1993, in Staten Island, New York, the son of Amy (née Waters) and Scott Matthew Davidson.[1][5] His father was of Jewish heritage and his mother is of Irish ancestry; Davidson was raised Catholic.[6][7] He has a younger sister named Casey.[8] His father was a New York City firefighter who died in service during the September 11 attacks;[9][10] he was last seen running up the stairs of the Marriott World Trade Center, just prior to its collapse. Davidson, who was seven years old at the time, was profoundly affected by the loss. He told The New York Times that it was "overwhelming" and that he would often act out in school as a result of the trauma, at one point ripping his hair out until he was bald.[6] 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.[11]

Davidson first tried his hand at 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.[12] 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 he "can perform when [he's] not high, but it wouldn't be that much fun for [him]."[13] 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,[5] remaining briefly before dropping out.[4][14]


Davidson's earliest onscreen appearance was in the third episode of the MTV comedy series Failosophy, which premiered February 28, 2013. 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.[2] 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 Adam Devine's House Party, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Comedy Underground with Dave Attell, and guest-starred in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In 2014, he acquired a role in a Fox comedy pilot, Sober Companion,[15] but it ultimately did not make it to series.[16]

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.[14][17] The first new addition to the cast that season,[4] 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.[18] Hader subsequently told producer Lorne Michaels about him. His debut garnered positive critical notice,[18][19] 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,[12][20] an endeavor that eventually found them entangled in the "69" position.[21] Another involved Davidson being shot in the chest with an arrow by Norman Reedus.[12]

In March 2015, Davidson was a roaster on the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber,[22] and his set was praised as one of the best of the show.[23] 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 during the September 11 attacks, called that film "the worst experience of my life involving a plane."[12]

In 2016, Davidson was on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.[24] Also in 2016, Davidson recorded his first stand-up special Pete Davidson: SMD. The Comedy Central special was filmed in New York City. He made an appearance on The Jim Gaffigan Show.[citation needed]

Comedy style[edit]

Davidson has been lauded 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.[14] Davidson jokes about highly sensitive subjects, including the loss of his father during the September 11 attacks, because, 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.[6] He is a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, and has incorporated that material into his comedy work as well.[14][18]

Personal life[edit]

As of October 2015, Davidson lives in Brooklyn Heights, New York.[6]

Davidson has his father's badge number, 8418, tattooed on his left arm.[6] 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, commenting, "This makes it significantly less awkward that I’ve had a Pete Davidson tattoo for years."[25]

He was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 17 or 18,[13] for which he receives intravenous treatment[6] and used medical marijuana as a pain reliever.[13] 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.[11] 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.[26][27]

Davidson previously dated Cazzie David (daughter of Larry David) for two years.[28][29][30] On June 20, 2018, Davidson confirmed that he and Ariana Grande are engaged to be married.[31]



Year Title Role Notes
2013 TubbyMan PipeKleener Short film
2014 School Dance Stinkfinger
2015 Trainwreck Dr. Conner's Patient
2018 Set It Up Duncan
2018 Going Places Jack Post-production
2019 What Men Want TBA TBA


Year Title Role Notes
2013 Guy Code Himself 4 episodes
2013–2017 Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out Himself 7 episodes
2013 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Steven Episode: "The Slump"
2013 Adam DeVine's House Party Himself Episode: "Stunt Audition"
2014–present Saturday Night Live Himself, Various Main cast
2015 Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber Himself (roaster) TV special
2016 Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe Himself (roaster) TV special
2016 Pete Davidson: SMD Himself Stand-up special
2016 The Jim Gaffigan Show Jeffy Episode: "The List"
2017 Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday Himself Episode: "4.3"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Pete Davidson Biography". Archived from the original on September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Roth, Madeline (September 15, 2014). "Pete Davidson From 'Guy Code' Is Joining 'Saturday Night Live' Cast". MTV. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Failosophy". The New York Times. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Bacle, Ariana (September 15, 2014). "Pete Davidson Added to Saturday Night Live as Featured Player". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. 
  5. ^ a b Bailey, Rob (September 15, 2014). "Staten Island Native Pete Davidson, Son of 9/11 Hero, Joining Cast of Saturday Night Live". Staten Island Advance. Advance Publications. Archived from the original on September 16, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Caramanica, Jon (October 1, 2015). "Pete Davidson Nuzzles Up to the Prickly Joke". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Dachille, Arielle (April 10, 2015). "Pete Davidson's Family Background Is A Favorite Joke Topic For Him, So Let's Investigate His History". Bustle. 
  8. ^ Steussy, Lauren (December 16, 2004). "'SNL' star Pete Davidson is proud Staten Island bro: Tweets support for sister's basketball skills". Staten Island Advance.
  9. ^ Buiso, Gary (September 27, 2014). "Pete Davidson, Son of a Slain 9/11 Firefighter Makes His SNL Debut". New York Post. News Corp. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ Steussy, Lauren (September 30, 2014). "Pete Davidson: 5 Things You Need to Know About the New Saturday Night Live Superstar". Staten Island Advance. Advance Publications. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "'SNL's Pete Davidson Says He’s 'Happy and Sober for the First Time in 8 Years' in Emotional Instagram Post". Yahoo! Celebrity/Entertainment Tonight. March 7, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d Vaziri, Aidin (August 12, 2015). "At 21, Pete Davidson is a stand-up veteran". San Francisco Chronicle.
  13. ^ a b c Danko, Danny (September 30, 2016). "Pete Davidson: 'I Wouldn't Be Able to Perform on SNL if I Couldn't Smoke Weed!'". High Times. Archived from the original on October 1, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c d Errigo, Michael (February 8, 2015). "Pete Davidson: a comedian who's one of us". The Diamondback. Maryland Media, Inc. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. 
  15. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 25, 2014). "Justin Long to Star in Fox Comedy 'Sober Companion'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 12, 2014). "We Are... Not Picked Up Yet? Fox Upfront Features 'Sober Companion' Poster". Deadline Hollywood.
  17. ^ Rife, Katie (September 15, 2014). "Dust Settles at SNL with New Cast Member and a "Genuinely Happy" Cecily Strong". The A.V. Club. 
  18. ^ a b c Rahman, Ray (September 29, 2014). "Bill Hader discusses 'SNL' newbie Pete Davidson, his own hosting debut". Entertainment Weekly.
  19. ^ Robinson, Will (May 21, 2015). "Pete Davidson live tweets his Harry Potter marathon, gives 'dope as f---' review". Entertainment Weekly.
  20. ^ Brathwaite, Les Fabian (March 30, 2015). "The Rock Bares His Butt, 69s With SNL's Pete Davidson". Logo TV. Archived from the original on June 1, 2016. 
  21. ^ Wright, Megh (July 13, 2015). "Pete Davidson Looks Back on His Weekend Update Debut (and 69ing The Rock)". Archived from the original on May 18, 2016. 
  22. ^ McDonagh, Ross (March 30, 2015). "SNL's Pete Davidson slams comedienne Natasha Leggero on Twitter for 'stealing' his joke from Justin Bieber's Comedy Central Roast". Daily Mail. 
  23. ^ Thompson, Paul (March 16, 2015). "Don't #Beliebe the Hype: Inside Justin Bieber's Roast". Rolling Stone.
  24. ^ "Forbes 30 Under 30 2016". Forbes. 
  25. ^ Hearon, Sarah (December 15, 2017). "SNL’s Pete Davidson Posts Picture of Hillary Clinton Tattoo on Instagram ". Us Weekly.
  26. ^ "Episode 849 - Pete Davidson". WTF with Marc Maron. September 25, 2017
  27. ^ Hautman, Nicholas (September 26, 2017). "SNL's Pete Davidson Reveals Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis: 'I'm Depressed All the Time'". Us Weekly.
  28. ^ "SNL's Pete Davidson Confirms Split from Cazzie David: 'We're Not Together Anymore'". 
  29. ^ Arnold, Amanda. "It Looks Like Pete Davidson Covered Up His Tattoo of Cazzie David". 
  30. ^ "Cazzie David, Pete Davidson, And The Myth Of "Winning" Your Breakup". June 15, 2018. 
  31. ^ Mallenbaum, Carly. "Pete Davidson confirms Ariana Grande engagement: 'I feel like I won a contest'". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 

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