The best character Pete Davidson ever played on Saturday Night Live was arguably himself (sorry, Chad), and the comic appropriately bid farewell to the show by getting real for one last Weekend Update confessional during the season 47 finale.
The stand-up, who joined SNL during season 40 as one of the youngest cast members ever at age 20, was mostly known for breaking in sketches during his early years, but he won over many fans throughout his stint with his frequent vulnerably self-deprecating visits to the show's news desk, opening up about topics from his own mental health struggles to poking fun at his headline-making relationships and breakups.
The comedian is now 28 and one of the current cast's most recognizable stars thanks to his highly publicized relationship with ex-fiancee Ariana Grande and current girlfriend Kim Kardashian, both of whom he met during their guest appearances on the NBC comedy institution.
NBC Pete Davidson on his final 'Saturday Night Live' Weekend Update appearance at season 47 finale
"I never imagined this would be my life," Davidson admitted during his final episode as a cast member, beside an image of himself during his Weekend Update appearance on his very first episode in September 2014. "Back then, I was just like a skinny kid and no one knew what race I was. Now everyone knows I'm white because I became hugely successful while barely showing up to work," he said mocking his frequent absences over the last few seasons.
Davidson said a lot has changed throughout his time on the show: "In three years, Fox News went from calling me a monster for making fun of Congressman Dan Crenshaw's eye patch to also making fun of Dan Crenshaw's eye patch," he joked, pointing out that Tucker Carlson had mocked the controversial Republican lawmaker who Davidson was once forced to apologize to in person after making a dumb jab in a previous Update segment. The comic admitted the heat he took for it "clearly still bothers" him.
When asked by anchor Colin Jost if there was anything Davidson would miss after leaving SNL, the King of Staten Island star named show boss Lorne Michaels. "He's amazing. He's led us through the COVID era even though the only time he wears a mask is at his Eyes Wide Shut parties," he joked, going on to share some of the valued advice Michaels had imparted on him over the years.
"Really, this is all true advice that Lorne's given me. I'll never forget this, I called him when I got engaged, I said, 'Lorne, I just got engaged to Ariana Grande after dating for two weeks,' and he said, 'Oh, hold on for dear life.'"
"When I auditioned for SNL he said, 'I don't think you're right for this show, so let's screw this up together,' and that's exactly what we did," Davidson shared. "That's why people who don't think I deserve this job shouldn't hate me since we have so much in common. If anything, I should inspire hope that literally anyone could be on Saturday Night Live. Seriously, you see a guy bumming cigarettes outside a 7-Eleven at 2 a.m., that's not some meth head, that's the next Pete Davidson."
Davidson grew noticeably emotional as he shared his sincere appreciation for his time on the show: "I appreciate SNL always having my back and allowing me to work on myself and grow. Thank you to Lorne for never giving up on me or judging me even when everyone else was, and believing in me and allowing me to have a place that I can call home with memories that will last a lifetime. So thank you guys."
Davidson's career shows no signs of slowing now that SNL is in his rearview. He stars in A24's upcoming horror-comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies, romantic-comedy Meet Cute opposite Kaley Cuoco, and Peacock's Bupkis, a fictionalized comedy based on Davidson's life starring Edie Falco as his mother.
The season 47 finale was also reported to be the final episode for longtime cast members Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney. Though none received the definitive goodbye that Davidson got, McKinnon opened the show with a teary wave as her recurring alien abductee, Ms. Rafferty, headed permanently to space. "I love ya. Thanks for letting me stay awhile," she told the audience.
Watch Davidson's final Weekend Update appearance above.