bowed out of Saturday Night Live this weekend with a bang – and of course managed to drop in a joke before the curtains dropped.
The 28-year-old comedian had earlier announced he was leaving the iconic sketch show in an emotional letter, eight years after he made history as the youngest cast member ever to be brought on.
He’s not the only cast member making an exit as Kate McKinnon also said farewell after 10 years on the show, while Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney have also left in a major shake-up on the series.
During his final appearance last night, Pete hosted his regular Weekend Update segment on the news desk and immediately addressed the elephant in the room, joking in his opening line: ‘Hello Colin and Che and millions of people only watching to see if I bring up Kanye.’
Of course, there’s no love lost between Kanye and Pete, who is currently dating the rapper’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian.
Pete went on to reflect on his humble beginnings at SNL alongside an almost unrecognisable throwback photo of him when he first started.
‘Back then I was just like a skinny kid and no one knows what race I was,’ he quipped. ‘Now everyone knows I’m white because I’m hugely successful despite never showing up for work.’
The King of Staten Island actor made a cheeky reference to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, comparing it to his controversial joke about Congressman Dan Crenshaw wearing an eyepatch.
‘Tucker Carlson called him ”Eyepatch McCain”. That’s two veterans in one insult!’ he joked, adding: ‘I was simply making a joke about someone’s appearance without realising the story behind it was a sensitive issue, which is an SNL alumni tradition.’
Clearly able to laugh at himself, Pete later shared advice which SNL creator Lorne Michaels gave him after he announced his engagement to Ariana Grande in 2018.
‘He said: “Oh, hold on for dear life!” That’s a true thing he said!’ he recalled.
Concluding his final monologue, Pete told the audience and viewers: ‘I appreciate SNL always having my back and allowing me to work on myself and grow and thank you to Lorne for never giving up on me or judging me, even when everyone else was and believing me and allowing me to have a place to call home with memories that will last a lifetime.’
Pete had earlier shared a heartfelt letter confirming his departure, posted on Instagram on his behalf by friend Dave Sirus.
He wrote in part: ‘When I got the show I was 20 years old and I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t but especially back then… I got to share so much with this audience and literally grow up in front of your eyes.
‘We were together through the good and the bad, the happiest and the darkest of times.’
The actor concluded: ‘SNL is my home. I’m so happy and sad about tonight’s show. For so many reasons I can’t explain. Can’t wait to be back next year in a Mulaney musical number. — Resident young person Pete Davidson.’
SNL will also hold special memories for Pete as it’s where he met girlfriend Kim. They began dating in October 2021 shortly after sharing a kiss during a sketch on the programme.