On Monday night, Pete Davidson returned to stand-up comedy for the first time after his suicide scare, reports the New York Times. The Saturday Night Live cast member performed two sold-out shows in the Boston area, which included material about marijuana (a frequent theme of Davidson’s comedy) and his high-profile relationship with Ariana Grande and their breakup. He referenced some of the blowback he’s received since parting ways with Grande, claiming that kids taunted his mother, a school nurse, by singing “Thank U, Next.”
The shows were his first public comedy performances since he posted on Instagram, “I really don’t want to be on this Earth anymore.” The comedian, who has spoken openly about his struggles with mental health, wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but I actually don’t know how much longer I can last. All I’ve ever tried to do was help people. Just remember I told you so.” He then deleted his Instagram account, but the December 15 post led a New York police officer to check in on Davidson at SNL’s studio.
During that night’s SNL episode, Davidson did not appear in any sketches, but he did introduce Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson, and Sean Ono Lennon before their performance of “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” That was the last episode before the long-running series took its scheduled winter hiatus. A source tells the Times that he is expected to return to the series when it begins airing new episodes again in 2019.
Davidson said he hadn’t heard the song prior to its release, contrary to what Grande said at the time, and that he listened for the first time backstage at SNL: “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. [I knew] this won’t be easy; this is rough. So I start playing it. And we’re all like, ‘Ehh … it’s okay.’ We’re like, ‘Okay, it’s not that bad,’” he said. “Here’s the thing about the breakup song. Usually [with] breakup songs you know who it’s about, but you don’t really know. That G named all of us. Bam. She named all of us. And then tells us, ‘Yeah, he has a big dick.’”
Davidson recalled C.K. hosting SNL during his first year on the show, and said that the comedian complained about how much weed he smoked. C.K. “told all the producers in front of me that all this kid does is smoke weed and he’s gonna smoke his career away,” Davidson recalled, and said that C.K. told Lorne Michaels “that Pete smokes so much weed that it makes people uncomfortable.”