“Even almost got married / And for Pete I’m so thankful”—are the lines in Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next.” But this is not Davidson’s only claim to fame.
Pete Davison started his comedy career in 2013 when he began appearing on MTV shows. In 2014, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. However, many people only knew of Davidson once he began dating singer Ariana Grande. Davidson himself once said, “Ariana Grande made me all famous and stuff.”
Let’s take a closer look into the life and career of Pete Davidson.
The Beginnings of Pete Davidson
Peter Michael Davidson was born on November 16, 1993, in Staten Island, New York..
His mother works as a school nurse at the same school Pete once attended. Pete’s father worked as a New York City firefighter and was killed in the September 11 attacks. Pete was only 7 years old at the time of his father’s death and the tragedy profoundly affected him.
Pete would act out in school and once he ripped all of his hair out until he was bald. His mother once said, “It was sad how sad he was growing up.”
Pete revealed that he struggled with suicidal thoughts when he was a child and teenager, and that the music of rapper Kid Cudi saved his life.
Pete revealed, “I would’ve killed myself if I didn’t have Kid Cudi. I would’ve killed myself. Absolutely 100%. I truly believe if Man on the Moon [2009 album] didn’t come out, I wouldn’t be here.”
Pete’s first foray into comedy came when he was 16. Pete was at a bowling alley with his friends, who dared him to go up on stage and perform his stand-up routine.
Pete looked back on the experience, saying, “And then I smoked a joint and I did it. It went all right. I got the bug where I just needed to be an attention whore for 12 minutes a day every day.”
Pete has struggled with Crohn’s disease since the age of 17 or 18. Crohn’s disease is a bowel condition that can cause multiple disruptive symptoms. Pete relies on marajuana to self-medicate for his condition as well as to give him confidence to perform.
Pete once explained that he “cannot function” without the drug, and added that he would have found Saturday Night Live difficult without his green goodies.
He elaborated, “I can perform when I’m not high, but it wouldn’t be that much fun for me.”
After graduating highschool, Pete attended one semester at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights but dropped out in order to pursue a comedy career.
Making it in Comedy
Pete’s first television appearance was as a guest on the MTV series Failosophy, in 2013. The show featured funny videos and social media posts, which were discussed by the panelists.
His next appearance was in “PDA and Moms”—an episode of the MTV show Guy Code. Guy Code documented and explained the special “code” shared between men on how they should conduct themselves. Pete was subsequently featured in the show another three times.
The same year, Pete made an appearance on Gotham Comedy Live, a Comedy Central show which showcases stand-up comedians at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City.
Pete had a few other stand-up gigs aired on TV and also had a guest role in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Saturday Night Live
Pete was chosen to join the cast of the 40th-season premiere of Saturday Night Live, in 2014. Pete was 20 years old at the time, making him one of youngest cast members ever and the first to be born in the 90s.
Pete’s debut appearance received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Watch the skit with Pete, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Kate McKinnon that had people in stitches:
Since joining Saturday Night Live, Pete has made many stand-up and television appearances.
In June 2018, Pete confirmed he and Ariana Grande were engaged. However, the couple called off the engagement in October the same year.
Grande made two references to Pete in her music—the song “Pete Davidson” appears on her 2018 album Sweetener and she sings the lines “Even almost got married / And for Pete I’m so thankful” on her song “Thank U, Next.”
In 202, Pete commented on how Grande increased his fame:
It’s really annoying because I live in Staten Island and they come there now ’cause, like, Ariana Grande made me all famous and stuff, so it’s all her fault. It is! She sent the wolves on me. She made me and created me, or whatever they say.