friendship timelines

A Timeline of John Mulaney and Pete Davidson’s Blossoming Bromance

Photo: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

This is the story of two nice comedy boys, or rather, two nice comedy boys who found each other at just the right time: John Mulaney and Pete Davidson, who, on the surface, with their 11-year age difference, have absolutely nothing in common. One’s a clean-cut former SNL writer who has perhaps become the leading joke writer of his generation. The other is a current SNL player who dabbles in the marijuana arts and had a failed engagement with a global superstar. One enjoys dressing up as a cantankerous septuagenarian for the sake of the theater. The other likes dying his hair shades of electric blue for funsies.

Still, they’ve managed to capture the collective awwws of the nation thanks to their increasingly delightful public friendship, which people are likening to something right out of a father-son handbook. “I’m so happy John Mulaney adopted Pete Davidson,” one Twitter user wrote. “John Mulaney seems like a really good dad to Pete Davidson,” another added.

Frankly, we agree! So, Vulture just had to make a timeline of their friendship and alert Mulaney that we’re available for adoption, as well.

October 2015: Years before their relationship officially becomes a Thing, Mulaney is chuffed that a certain someone followed him on Twitter.

Mid-April 2018: Returning to his old stomping grounds years after departing as a writer, Mulaney hosts SNL for the first time, with Jack White as his very yin-and-yang musical guest. The infamous “Diner Lobster” sketch unites Mulaney and Davidson onstage in Studio 8H for the first time, with Davidson playing a stubborn diner who insists on ordering the lobster, much to the shock of Mulaney’s waiter.

In a particularly endearing “Diner Lobster” moment, Davidson breaks when faced with Mulaney’s gentle Les Mis stylings.

Later in the show, “Drag Brunch” brings the duo together again, this time with Mulaney as a waitress hell-bent on getting revenge on one of her customers. That customer isn’t Davidson, but he still gets to revel in his pal screaming things like “smokey eye! and “fake-ass Chanel purse!”

Late October 2018: The boys head to the Beacon Theater to see Steely Dan perform a greatest-hits set during their long-standing residency. Davidson, in an unprecedented move for fans of the Dan, stands up to dance during noted banger “My Old School,” and other attendees soon follow suit.

Late November 2018: Mulaney, Davidson, and Jerry Seinfeld go back to the Beacon Theater for even more boomer revelry, this time to attend Bob Dylan’s short residency. “He said, ‘I do not know one of these songs,’” Mulaney later recalled on The Tonight Show. “During ‘Like a Rolling Stone,’ I turned to him and I said, ‘This is a very famous song,’ and he said, ‘Okay.”’ He added: “I love him very much and he’s a wonderful friend.”

Early December 2018: Flanked by a few other friends, the duo sits courtside to watch the Knicks play the Wizards and, presumably, see the game’s MVP award go to Mulaney’s snazzy glasses. This is a welcome reprieve from some mental roadblocks Davidson faced a few days prior: On Instagram, he wrote about his continuing battle with borderline personality disorder and being a victim of frequent online bullying.

Photo: James Devaney/Getty Images

Mid-December 2018: Mulaney dedicates most of his Tonight Show appearance to reminiscing about how delighted Davidson was to attend that Steely Dan concert — even though he had zero idea they were a band as opposed to, say, a prop comic. “I call Pete Davidson and say, ‘Do you want to see Steely Dan?’ He goes, ‘Yes!’ End of call,” Mulaney recapped. “He says, ‘Who is Steely Dan?’ And I said, ‘It’s a band.’ And he said, ‘It’s not a comedian?’ So, I said, ‘Pete, you don’t know anything about them?’ ‘No.’ ‘Do you know anything about pop-jazz fusion?’ He said ‘No.’ I said, ‘Pete, there’s no way I can prepare you for what’s about to happen.’”

Mulaney continued, still marveling weeks later that Davidson managed to get Steely Dan’s notoriously seat-friendly spectators to loosen up a bit:

We walked in, and the entire audience is not young. There’s a lot of VIPs, though: Various Irate People. And you don’t stand up at a Steely Dan show … This has been the protocol for decades at the Beacon. Pete Davidson says, “I can’t take this!” He turns to the row behind him, and he goes, “If I stand, will you stand?!” And they go, “We’ll stand!” … And then by the time they were playing “My Old School,” the entire Beacon is on its feet.

Early January 2019: A mini “Sundays With Pete & John” comedy tour embarks across the New York metropolitan area to brighten up people’s winters. Phones and recording of any kind are prohibited. Their dressing room arrangements are … quite different.

When they have to cancel a show in Pennsylvania due to shitty weather, what can only be described as a 60-second apology-palooza ensues.

Davidson also announces that an occasional “Pete Davidson and Friends” show will pop up at Brooklyn’s Bell House in the upcoming months. (With the same phone and recording ban in place.) The first show, unsurprisingly, features Mulaney as one of the pals.

Mid-January 2019: A “Weekend Update” appearance reunites the duo on SNL, seemingly for the purpose of riffing on Clint Eastwood’s wild new drug-smuggling drama The Mule, which they have many, many thoughts about. However, they also address Davidson’s social media suicide scare from the month prior in a pretty sincere way. “I’ve been spending time with Pete to try to show him that you can have a life in comedy that is not insane — a sober, domestic life,” Mulaney explained. “Pete, look at me. You are loved by many, and we are glad you are okay.” Added Davidson: “After observing John’s life, I publicly threatened suicide. I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t make that joke, but it is funny.”

Stay tuned for more Mulvidson shenanigans whenever they break; we promise to recount them in all the painstaking, funny detail they deserve.

Pete Davidson and John Mulaney’s Friendship: A Timeline