What Pete Davidson did before SNL

Pete Davidson is having an excellent year. The humble but ubiquitous comedian has become something of a tabloid since hooking up with Kim Kardashian in October 2021 — much to the ire of her ex Kanye “Ye” West — and saying goodbye to “Saturday Night Live” after eight seasons, to focus his burgeoning acting career, with CinemaBlend noting that he has several films in the pipeline. Though most comedians struggle with the grueling slow burn to success, this goofy kid from Staten Island somehow beat the rest to snag a spot on “SNL” alongside Fred Armisen and Kate McKinnon before he was even old enough to in order to drink.

But how did this charismatic comedian land a coveted spot on SNL as one of the youngest performers — and the first to be born in the ’90s — and what exactly did he do before he hooked up with one of the richest in the world world rubbing elbows? Men and get Kim K’s nickname burned on their chests?

Pete Davidson’s career began with a challenge

Pete Davidson was born in Staten Island, New York, which he later explored in the semi-autobiographical flick The King of Staten Island. According to Life & Style, the future star’s mother worked as a high school nurse while his father, Scott, a firefighter, tragically lost his life on the duty during the September 11, 2001 attacks when Davidson was just 7 years old.

The comedian began a comedy career before he even graduated from high school, and at the age of 16 he performed his first stand-up show at a Staten Island bowling alley. When asked about it, he told SFGate, “My friends challenged me. You knew I always wanted to do it. And then I wouldn’t do it. And then I smoked a joint and I did it. I got the error that I just had to get attention for 12 minutes every day.

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Pete Davidson got his big break through a chance meeting

Pete Davidson’s schooldays sound surprisingly relatable. He told SFGate that while attending Xaverian High School, he had desires to be liked, which backfired when the comedian said he had “no friends,” something he later resolved by saying a “what.” whatever” stance. He graduated in 2011 and briefly enrolled at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights to further his education before dropping out after one semester to pursue a career in comedy full-time. His performance garnered attention, leading to his first on-screen appearance in the third episode of the MTV comedy series, Failosophy, which aired in 2013. His small screen debut was followed by appearances on MTV’s Guy Code and Nick. Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out.”

Davidson’s big break came in 2014 when Amy Schumer offered him a small role in her 2015 romantic comedy Trainwreck. On the set, Davidson met “SNL” regular Bill Hader, with whom he “kind of got along.” “A week later he called me and said, ‘Hey, I recommended it to you [‘SNL’ executive producer] Lorne Michaels.’ And I thought: ‘Why?’ I was just so surprised. I didn’t even know I could audition. And the fact that I got it, I just couldn’t believe it,” he recalled to People in 2015.

The rest is history. Davidson joined the late-night comedy show for the season 40 premiere in 2014 and quickly became a staple of the show’s “Weekend Update” segment. Eight years later, Davidson made his final appearance on Weekend Update to say goodbye to the show that helped launch his career.

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