Pete Davidson’s been living the worst parts of being in your mid-20s of late—ill-fated infatuation, impulsive behavior, heartrending breakups, rampant self-loathing—but one can only imagine how exacerbated it all gets when the media reports on every step of it. That relentless spotlight’s likely at least partly to blame for the comedian’s recent mental health scare, which has kept him off of Saturday Night Live for the time being. Davidson appears to be on the mend, however, having just delivered a whopper of a stand-up set this past New Year’s Eve.
The New York Times described the sold-out Boston set as “rough and raucous,” noting that the comedian used a few minutes to address his recent, high-profile breakup from pop star Ariana Grande, as well as how the increased attention has impacted his family—his mother, a school nurse, has seen students singing Grande’s Davidson-referencing breakup anthem “Thank U, Next” in her general direction.
According to E!’s sources, the set also touched on how the song’s seismic release reverberated into his orbit. “That shit came out before I had to put on a fucking duck hat and be like, ‘derrrp here’s the pizza!’ So all my friends were there. It was a sad day. We didn’t know it was going to happen.”
Thankfully, it wasn’t all Grande content. Keeping in line with the comedian’s penchant for calling out his industry’s most tasteless, Davidson took a moment to acknowledge the ugly, mean-spirited jokes made by disgraced comic Louis C.K. as of late.
“I got a Harry Potter tattoo. Then the next day Alan Rickman, the guy who played Snape, died,” he began. “And I was like, ‘Oh, what a weird coincidence. Then I got a Willy Wonka tattoo. Next day – Gene Wilder dies. Now I’m like, ‘All right, that’s not a coincidence, that’s weird.’ So, I’m thinking of getting a tattoo of Louis C.K. What do you guys think?”
There’s a personal component to Davidson’s C.K. comments, though. As US Weekly notes, C.K. reportedly had a big problem with Davidson’s love for herb, having told Lorne Michaels that “Pete smokes so much weed that it makes people uncomfortable.” He even said as much in front of the comedian. When he hosted in April of 2017, C.K., by Davidson’s recounting, “told all the producers in front of me that all this kid does is smoke weed and he’s gonna smoke his career away.”
E! points out that his opening acts—Jordan Rock, Dave Cyrus, Joey Gay and Ricky Valez—are all close friends of Davidson, as is, of all people, musician and Bird Box actor Machine Gun Kelly, with whom Davidson’s been out partying. Add in Dave Chappelle and NBA star Richard Jefferson, who he mentioned during his set, and it sounds like Davidson’s got a robust support system. Also, a source told The New York Times that Davidson’s planning to return to SNL in January. For his own sake, we’re hoping he (and the show’s writers) are planning to leave the Grande (and BDE) bits in 2018.