In a new story for the New York Times, Jon Caramanica profiled the prickly comedy of Pete Davidson, “Saturday Night Live's" "resident young person” and one of the biggest stars to come out of the show last year.
As comics furiously debate whether online outrage and PC culture are “killing” comedy, Davidson is remarkable for how unafraid he is to push the envelope. Instead, the 21-year-old “SNL” star has made "post-trauma, post-trigger-warning comedy his calling card.”
Davidson’s dad was a firefighter who died in 9/11, and Davidson connects his fearless comedic style to this painful experience of childhood loss. "There’s nothing I won’t joke about, and I think it’s because of what happened to me,” he explains. "That’s the worst thing that could ever happen to somebody. Now it’s just like, ‘Who cares, man?’ ”
In particular, Caramanica points to the joke Davidson made during Comedy Central’s Bieber roast, in which he riffed: “I lost my dad on 9/11, and I always regretted growing up without a dad … until I met your dad, Justin. Now I’m glad mine’s dead.”
But, as Davidson adds, that wasn’t even the most risque joke of the roast. "My favorite joke was cut,” he explained. “It was ‘Kevin Hart is literally the biggest comedian in the world — according to Robin Williams’s suicide note.’
“The crowd went ‘Oooh,’” — the bad kind of ooh, as he puts it — "then I had to pop it back up.” Thankfully, he was able to win the crowd back with the aforementioned 9/11 joke.
“That brought it back,” Davidson said. “It’s the only time 9/11 has ever saved the room!”
Read the full fascinating profile over at The Times.