Pete Davidson took his final bow on Saturday Night Live after eight seasons on the show. The comedian had initially sparked exit rumors amid his ongoing romance with The Kardashians star Kim Kardashian earlier this year after missing several episodes. However, he squashed the speculation at the time after he reappeared in subsequent episodes throughout season 47. So, why did Pete leave SNL now?
Keep reading to find out everything we know about Pete’s exit.
Pete Davidson Released a Statement About His ‘SNL’ Departure
Pete penned a lengthy note about his departure that his friend, SNL writer Dave Sirus, shared via Instagram on May 21 along with a clip of him hugging comedian Jerrod Carmichael.
“This video was taken eight years ago,” the message read. “Jerrod sent it to me last night and it made me super emotional in the best way. In the video, I had just gotten back from doing my very first update and sketch. It’s crazy to think that today I’ll be doing my last one. When I got the show, I was 20 years old and I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t, but especially back then. I wasn’t really a sketch performer. I was just a stand up. I knew I could never keep up or go toe-to-toe with a Kenan Thompson or a Kate McKinnon, so I was super scared at figuring out what I could possibly bring to or do for such a historic, respected show and platform. I figured, since I’m a stand up, I’ll just try my stand up and personal bits on ‘Weekend Update’ as myself, and I’m so glad I did.”
Pete continued, “I got to share so much with this audience and literally grow up in front of your eyes. We were together through the good and the bad, the happiest and the darkest of times. I owe Lorne Michaels and everyone at SNL my life. Im so grateful, and I wouldn’t be here without them. I appreciate you guys always having my back and sticking up for me even when that wasn’t the popular opinion. Thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side even when it seemed comical. Thank you for teaching me life values, how to grow up and for giving me memories that will last a lifetime. SNL is my home. I’m so happy and sad about tonight’s show. For so many reasons I can’t explain. Can’t wait to be back next year in a Mulaney musical number.”
Why Did Pete Davidson Leave ‘SNL’?
It’s common for the show to change its cast during its yearly summer hiatus, according to Variety and Deadline. In addition to Pete, cast members Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney left as well.
Reps for Pete and NBC did not immediately respond to Life & Style’s request for comment.
Pete Was Previously Rumored to Be Leaving ‘SNL’
From January through March, Pete and his girlfriend faced multiple attacks from her ex-husband Kanye “Ye” West about their relationship. After the “Jesus Walks” rapper released his single “Eazy,” on January 14 — which included a lyric where the performer claimed he could “beat Pete Davidson’s ass” — the funny man joked about the situation in a January 15 SNL skit.
In the scene, Pete portrayed an alternate version of President Joe Biden and said everyone is living in an alternate reality right now. He explained to a laughing audience, “Everyone on earth is better off in the real world except one man named Pete Davidson.”
Three months later, the Suicide Squad star publicly joked about Ye during his April 28 standup performance for Netflix Is a Joke: The Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.
“I’ve had a really weird year,” he said. “I had an AIDS scare this year … Kanye told me I have AIDS. And he’s a genius, so I was like, ‘Oh, f—k.’ I was like, ‘I better call my doctor. The guy who made College Dropout thinks I have AIDS.’”
Pete Was One of SNL’s Youngest Cast Members
The People’s Choice Award nominee first joined the comical series during season 40 in 2014 at just 20 years old.
While he was relatively unknown at first, Pete appeared in multiple sketches, primarily alongside castmates Colin Jost and Michael Che in the famous “Weekend Update” segments. Not only that, but he has also performed a number of hilarious impersonations, including that of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He also created a famous fictional character named Chad, who is always chill no matter how disturbing the situation.
However, one of his most memorable performances was when he portrayed Aladdin alongside Kim, who played Jasmine, during her SNL hosting debut in October 2021.
Pete Talked About Leaving ‘SNL’ in 2020
In a February 2020 interview with Charlamagne Tha God, Pete opened up about the possibility of his exit from SNL.
“I have conversations with a lot of people [about leaving],” he said at the time. “It’s a hard thing to do, because you don’t want to ever pull the trigger too early. Everybody’s always been like, ‘You’ll know when you know and it’ll all be all right.’”
While he admitted it would be difficult to leave, Pete also shared his feelings about being the punchline of many jokes.
“Here’s the thing: I personally think that I should be done with that show, because they make fun of me on it,” the New York native added. “I get it, but I’m like, cold-open, political punchlines. I’m like, ‘Weekend Update’ jokes. When I’m not there, they’ll be like, ‘Ha ha ha, Pete’s a f—king 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,” he admitted. “If I’m the joke or I’m in on the joke.”
Kim Kardashian Showed Support for Pete After His Exit
In a sweet tribute for her boyfriend, the Hulu personality shared a collage via her Instagram Stories on May 22 of Pete from various SNL sketches over the years since his 2014 debut. Some of the shots also included “Weekend Update” coanchors Michael and Colin, whom Pete frequently costarred with on the skit.