Pete Davidson gave a surprisingly poignant and personal opening monologue to kick off Saturday Night Live‘s 49th season. The truncated 48th season of SNL wrapped up early on April 15 due to the WGA strike, which ended on September 27.
Davidson's father, Scott Davidson, was a firefighter who lost his life during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Pete's comments in his SNL opening monologue focused on the children suffering overseas due to the Israel-Hamas war. Davidson was only seven when the World Trade Center buildings fell on September 11, 2001.
Pete Davidson Was Originally Scheduled to Host SNL for the First Time in May
Davidson — an SNL series regular from 2014 to 2022 — was originally scheduled to host SNL for the first time in May, but that changed after the WGA strike began on May 2. As a result, season 48 of SNL only had 18 episodes, about three episodes short of a regular SNL season.
CNN posted the full text to Davidson's SNL opening monologue:
This week, we saw the horrible images and stories from Israel and Gaza. And, I know what you’re thinking, who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson?
Well, in a lot of ways, I am a good person to talk about it because when I was seven years old, my dad was killed in a terrorist attack. So, I know something about what that’s like.
I saw so many terrible pictures this week of children suffering – Israeli children and Palestinian children – and it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place. No one in this world deserves to suffer, especially not kids.
After my dad died, my mom tried pretty much everything she could do to cheer me up. I remember one day when I was eight, she got me what she thought was a Disney movie but it was actually the Eddie Murphy stand up special, Delirious. We played it in the car on the way home and when she heard the things that Eddie Murphy was saying, she tried to take it away. But then she noticed something, for the first time in a long time I was laughing again.
I don’t understand it. I really don’t. I never will. But sometimes comedy is really the only way forward from tragedy.
My heart is with everyone whose lives have been destroyed this week. But tonight I’m going to do what I’ve always done in the face of tragedy and that’s try to be funny. Remember, I said try. And live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.
Davidson currently stars as himself in a fictionalized version of his life on Peacock's Bupkis, which premiered in 2023 and which the streaming network renewed for a second season.
Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.