Pete Davidson Doubles Down On Playing Pete Davidson With New Show
Pete Davidson has found the role he was born to play. Again.
The poet laureate of Gen Z has just signed on to play Pete Davidson -- or, at least, a fictionalized version of Pete Davidson -- in the tentatively titled Bupkis, a new TV series produced by Lorne Michaels.
Lucky for all the creatives involved, Pete Davidson has some experience playing Pete Davidson.
His most popular character on Saturday Night Live is probably Pete Davidson, the guy who shows up on Weekend Update to weigh in on what’s happening in the world. You know, like Kanye.
Then there was his turn in Big Time Adolescence as 23-year-old stoner Zeke. Writer-director Jason Orley decided to cast Davidson after seeing him on the Justin Bieber roast, realizing “That’s the character!” Hey, if you write a Pete Davidson character, you’re going to want Pete Davidson to play him.
Let’s not forget Pete’s star turn in The King of Staten Island, the semi-autobiographical story of a 24-year-old high school dropout who lives with his mother and younger sister after his firefighter dad dies during 9/11. Semi-autobiographical?
“I have never really been able to get over my dad passing,” Pete said about King, a film he co-wrote. “Telling that story — filming it and digging deep and being in uncomfortable areas that I have avoided for so long, I think that not only helped the movie, but it helped me as a person.”
Director Judd Apatow spent a long time making sure the Pete we see on film was authentically Pete. “We spent a lot of time talking about all the history and the emotions,” says Apatow. “When Pete wasn’t around, I would sit with our co-writer, Dave Sirus, who’s one of Pete’s best friends, and go, what was that moment like? In a situation like that, how might Pete react?”
But maybe not exactly exactly Pete? “We joke that this movie’s like if I was 5 percent more of an a__hole,” Davidson says. “But I thought it was like 70 to 80 percent more. You have to just make certain decisions that work best for the movie and not for you as a person.”
Let’s be clear: It’s not a criticism of Pete Davidson to say his best comedic role is Pete Davidson. Look no further than comedy legend Lucille Ball, who over the course of four decades played:
Lucy, a dizzy redhead married to a Cuban bandleader in I Love Lucy;
Lucy, a daffy widow raising two teen-age children in The Lucy Show;
Lucy, another dotty widow raising two teenage children (this time played by her actual children) in Here’s Lucy;
And of course, Lucy, the doting widowed grandmother in Life with Lucy.
So go on, Pete -- there are worse things to be called than the Lucille Ball of Stoners.
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Top image: Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon