By Madison Pena
Stepping out from his usual appearance behind Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” desk is clearly out of this comedian’s comfort zone.
On Feb. 25, Pete Davidson dropped his first Netflix special “Alive From New York,” joining the ranks of fellow SNL cast members John Mulaney and Seth Meyers. However, his comedy proves to be better suited for the shorter and more pointed SNL skits rather than an hour-long stand-up filled with awkward pauses.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the SNL star. I really wanted to like it, but the topics covered in the special were borderline juvenile without many redeeming moments.
In certain comedy bits, it almost seemed like the audience was lost on where the actual humor was, making for several moments of silence in between jokes as the audience decided whether or not it was appropriate to laugh.
Much like Davidson’s personal brand, the entire aura of the performance was dark and immature at times.
While a portion of the special dealt with Davidson’s uncomfortably delivered jokes about sex, his stories of being on SNL and rooming with his mother proved to be somewhat redeeming.
The highlight of the special was his jokes regarding his ex-girlfriend and famous singer, Ariana Grande. In his show, Davidson admits he “wasn’t going to talk about it” until his friend informed him that Grande told the press she did not know who he was. This, according to Davidson, meant his jokes were “fair game.”
These jokes proved to be his saving grace in the special. He also suggested that if the roles were reversed, he would not have been able to get away with what Grande did.
Davidson noted how, after she landed the Vogue magazine interview where she denied knowing of having a real relationship with him, it ended in no repercussions – aside from her winning Billboard’s Woman of the Year award.
It was at this portion of the stand-up where I was reminded why I enjoy Davidson on SNL — he is great at making fun of himself.
Though he joked about his relationship with Grande, Davidson never spoke ill of his ex-girlfriend. He only referenced how her post-breakup interviews have ingeniously ruined his chances with other women – which was even funnier.
Following this humorous bit, he took the comedy to a darker place. He told the story of how, after his father died on 9/11, his mother attempted to cheer him and his sister up by buying them what he fondly called “the death pool.”
Though he was able to give the audience glimpses that he’s still the funny guy we see on SNL, Davidson ultimately missed the mark and left the audience confused as to what they just watched.