Pete Davidson considers leaving "SNL," says castmates "think I'm f**king dumb"

The comedian aired his dirty laundry to Charlamagne tha God in a YouTube interview this week

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published February 26, 2020 4:06PM (EST)

Pete Davidson and Colin Jost during Weekend Update on Saturday, December 21, 2019  (Will Heath/NBC)
Pete Davidson and Colin Jost during Weekend Update on Saturday, December 21, 2019 (Will Heath/NBC)

Pete Davidson is having second thoughts about staying with "Saturday Night Live" at least in part because he feels the cast members mistreat him, according to a recent interview.

"I have a lot of conversations with people [about leaving 'Saturday Night Live'] because it's a hard thing to do," Davidson told radio and television personality Charlamagne tha God on Monday in the YouTube video "Live Your Truth: An Honest Conversation with Charlamagne Tha God and Pete Davidson." "You don't ever want to pull the trigger too early. Everybody's always been like, 'You'll know when you know, and it'll be alright.' I personally think I should be done with that show because they make fun of me on it."

Although Davidson praised creator and producer Lorne Michaels, saying he's been "like a father figure to me," he described the overall work environment as "cutthroat" because "everyone is trying to get their s**t on. Everyone wants to be the next thing." Instead of a "loving, caring" atmosphere, Davidson said, "They don't give a f**k, at the end of the day."

Davidson also discussed being ridiculed by his fellow cast members.

As Davidson told Charlamagne Tha God, "When I'm not there, they'll be like, 'Huh huh huh, Pete's a f***ing jerk face.' And you're like, 'Whose side are you on?' I have a weird feeling in that building where I don't know whose team they're playing for, really, if I'm the joke or I'm in on the joke."

Although he added that he would be a "hypocrite" if he asked the other repertory players to stop making jokes about him, he said, "If I'm just fodder now, though, maybe I shouldn't be there." He also observed that when his colleagues ridicule him and then the camera immediately cuts to him, it is difficult to get the audience on his side "without being like, 'Look at this f**king idiot.'"

He concluded, "They think I'm f**king dumb. I'm literally painted out to be this big dumb idiot."

"Saturday Night Live" has poked fun at Davidson both while he was absent and when he was present on the show. In an Oct. 5 episode, Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost joked that Davidson — who was reportedly absent to film scenes in James Gunn's upcoming film "The Suicide Squad" — was actually a man who had driven his car to a musical festival and "still cannot remember where he parked his car a week after the show." In the following week's episode, Davidson joked that Jost might suffer the same grisly fate as a character in the recent film "Joker" who also mocked a mentally ill individual. (Davidson attended mental health rehab in 2016 and has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.)

In 2018, after Davidson aroused controversy for joking about Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, only having one eye (Crenshaw lost the eye while serving in Afghanistan), "Saturday Night Live" invited Crenshaw onto the show to ridicule Davidson. Crenshaw appeared to say that Davidson "looks like if the meth from 'Breaking Bad' was a person. He looks like a troll doll with a tapeworm. . . .  He looks like Martin Short in 'The Santa Claus 3.' By the way, one of these people was actually good on 'SNL.'" Davidson appeared next to Crenshaw during the segment and appeared to laugh at the jokes at the time.

Watch the full episode on Charlamagne tha God's YouTube Channel:

The comedian appears in his new Netflix special, "Pete Davidson: Alive From New York," streaming now, and in the comedy "Big Time Adolescence" in select theaters on March 13 and on Hulu on March 20.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), media entrepreneur Dan Abrams, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Brief Colin Jost Lorne Michaels Pete Davidson Saturday Night Live