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22 Pete Davidson Moments on SNL That Are Truly Iconic — and Hilarious

The eight-season Saturday Night Live alum returned to host the Season 49 premiere on October 14—and crushed it. Look back at Pete Davidson's funniest moments as an SNL cast member and now, Host.

By Jessica White

The Season 47 finale of Saturday Night Live marked the farewell to long-running cast member Pete Davidson. But on October 14, Davidson returned to the sketch show that helped make him a star, hosting SNL for his first time with musical guest Ice Spice.

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Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

And Davidson absolutely crushed his stint as Host. Following a memorable cold open that saw Davidson alone on stage addressing the camera directly—sharing how the devastating war between the Israeli government and Hamas made him think of losing his firefighter father in the 9/11 terror attacks—the comedian made good on his stated promise to "do what I've always done in the face of tragedy, and that's try to be funny."

Davidson's time as a cast member spanned nearly nine years. In that time, he distinguished himself with very funny appearances, both in sketches as characters like Chad, and as a guest on "Weekend Update" over the years. First arriving to the show as a standup comedian at just 20 years old, Davidson grew as a character-creating sketch actor with every season.

Revisit some of Pete Davidson's best SNL sketches below. 

Who is Pete Davidson?

Born and raised in Staten Island, Davidson began as a stand-up comedian and joined the SNL cast in Season 40 at only 20 years old. Throughout his time on SNL, he took on memorable characters and buzzy topics in a way only Davidson can. Appearing in numerous "Weekend Update" segments and digital short music video parodies, Davidson soon became a standout star despite being the youngest SNL cast member ever put on the show at the time. 

Pete Davidson and Colin Jost during 'weekend update' on Saturday Night Live

Davidson has appeared in several films, such as The Suicide Squad, Bodies Bodies Bodies, Meet Cute, and The King of Staten Island, a semi-biographical film based on Davidson's childhood. Davidson currently stars in the Peacock comedy series Bupkis alongside Edie Falco, Joe Pesci, and a star-studded lineup of celebrity guest stars. Like Staten Island, Davidson's TV project is described as a fictionalized, exaggerated version of his life. 

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Below, we look back at some of the sketches that made Pete Davidson an SNL legend.

The Best of Pete Davidson on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Pete Davidson stole the show on "Weekend Update"

While many SNL cast members star on 'Weekend Update" as quirky characters, Davidson often appeared as himself. He had a penchant for self-deprecating humor and also could find the comedy in just about any situation, no matter how difficult. No matter what news cycle the SNL cast was working with, Davidson was able to find the funny anywhere.

Pete Davidson's music comedy moments are platinum-worthy

In his time at SNL, Davidson was especially talented at spoofing musicians, rappers, and personalities in the entertainment industry.

For example, he took full advantage of his physical likeness to Eminem, starring in numerous sketches depicting the rapper. In one sketch, he hilariously questioned the specifics of NFTs (the "music video" poked fun at Eminem's hit song "Without Me"). And in another, Davidson did a parody of Eminem's song "Stan" alongside Jason Bateman, who played Santa Claus. His history of playing Eminem made the actual Eminem's appearance in Davidson's last SNL episode all the more side-splitting.

On the Season 49 premiere, Davidson returned with another right-on-time musical sketch. "I'm Just Pete" reintroduced Ryan Gosling's "I'm Just Ken" number from the Barbie movie, this time casting Davidson as the doll version of the comedian, bemoaning how his talent and career doesn't get as much press as his personal life. 

I'm Just Pete

Pete Davidson excels in the long-running gag

Pete Davidson wearing a red wig and cowboy hat in SNL's 'Squid Game' Sketch

Davidson was a part of many long-running bits on SNL that audiences fell in love with throughout the years. One of the most unforgettable running gags was his "Chad" digital series, which depicted a comically laid-back dude stuck in numerous situations with high-strung partners. Davidson had audiences in stitches over his lazy responses to several chaotic situations. Whether he's talking to his mistress, a tortured professor, or even a serial killer set on murdering him, you could count on Chad to always respond with a shrug and an, "OK." 

Pete Davidson's personality shines in every sketch  

SNL has seen a wide variety of comedians throughout the years, from Bill Hader to Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph. While many cast members show up to Studio 8H with quirky characters in their toolboxes, Davidson proved that playing to your personality can be just as funny. Here are just a few sketches of Pete Davidson being unapologetically Pete Davidson.  

"I owe Lorne Michaels and everyone at SNL my life," Davidson said before exiting SNL last May. "I'm so grateful, and I wouldn't be here without them. I appreciate you guys always having my back and sticking up for me even when that wasn't the popular opinion. Thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side even when it seemed comical. Thank you for teaching me life values, how to grow up, and for giving me memories that will last a lifetime. 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." 

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Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and stream the next day on Peacock.

Originally published Apr 26, 2023.