Chad leaves Studio 8H.
Pete Davidson, who joined “Saturday Night Live” as a relative unknown and has become a superstar whose presence graces the gossip pages daily, is expected to leave “Saturday Night Live” after the season finale airs this weekend, according to a person familiar with The Reason . He’s one of a few longtime cast members, including Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, and Kate McKinnon, whose tenure on the show has come under scrutiny at the end of recent seasons. Davidson joined the show in 2014 as a lead cast member at the age of 20, one of the youngest cast members in the program’s 47 aired seasons.
NBC declined to make producers available on SNL for comment.
His departure is likely to draw renewed attention to the long-running program, which typically uses its summer break to recalibrate its cast of players and contributors. As more television viewers switch to streaming services to watch their favorite drama and comedy on demand, “SNL” has taken on new meaning for NBC. Previously airing after the late local news in a time slot that network executives did not consider to be a priority, “SNL” now airs live across the US, meaning it will air in prime time in certain parts of the country. Saturday Night Live was the most-watched entertainment show on television for the 2020-2021 season among viewers 18-49 years old, advertisers’ most preferred demographic.
Early in his tenure, Davidson mostly only appeared in segments of “Weekend Update,” where he often provided self-deprecating stand-up routines. But he’s developed a broader spectrum during his time at SNL. In recent seasons, he’s done impressions of celebrities like former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and actor Rami Malek, and has been increasingly involved in many of the show’s taped sketches. He often reappears as the recurring character Chad, an apathetic man who is clueless even in the face of dire or fantastic circumstances, such as being stalked by a killer or participating in a SpaceX mission.
Davidson’s time on the show has also brought his distractions, with gossip dogs intrigued by his dating history. During his “SNL” run, Davidson became engaged to singer Ariana Grande, though the relationship eventually broke up. Most recently, Davidson dated reality star and mega-influencer Kim Kardashian, who hosted the show this season.
In a famous incident in 2018, Davidson ran an “update” routine on Dan Crenshaw, then a candidate for a US Congress seat. Davidson mocked Crenshaw’s looks, although Crenshaw lost an eye while serving on a US SEAL team in Afghanistan. Davidson returned to “Update” to apologize after his comments drew criticism. Davidson also starred in the 2020 comedy The King of Staten Island, directed by Judd Apatow and based largely on Davidson’s life story.
It is this biography that attracted fans of the young comedian. Born on Staten Island, Davidson lost his father, a New York City firefighter who was killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Davidson has been open about his struggles with mental health and the impact his father’s death had on his childhood.
His growing number of projects has become more apparent in recent weeks. In February, he missed some shows of this “SNL” season to participate in the production of “The Home,” a horror film directed by James DeMonaco.
Though Davidson is leaving the program, it is expected that he will continue to have a relationship with Broadway Video, the production company responsible for “Saturday Night Live.” Davidson is the star, co-writer and executive producer of the new streaming series Bupkis, slated to air on NBCUniversal’s Peacock. Broadway Video’s Lorne Michaels, Andrew Singer and Erin David will also serve as executive producers on the series, which will be distributed by Universal Television. On Monday, NBC announced that Edie Falco will play Davidson’s character’s mother on the show.
Appearing at the NBCUniversal preview earlier this week, Davidson cracked a few jokes about the series and the streaming hub it’s set to air on. “I can’t believe we’re going to be on Peacock, the streamer responsible for so many great shows like ‘MacGruber’ and the reruns of ‘The Office,'” he joked, adding tonelessly, “I’ I’m here so the media can start paying attention to me.”
Watch Pete Davidson’s best ‘SNL’ skits and performances here.