Photo: ‘Pete Davidson Presents: The Best Friends’
Pete Davidson’s new comedy special which was taped for the comedy festival that Netflix hosted, “Netflix Is A Joke,” has just aired for all subscribers of the streaming giant to view. In this comedy set, Davidson ties much of his material to his experiences that have taken place over the past two years during the onset, and the current lasting effects of the global pandemic. In this set, Davidson appears to shed much of his former humble attitude which is in turn replaced by confidence and bravado in the knowledge that he is now a well-known celebrity.
In his first statements to the live crowd, Davidson brags about casually hanging out with Jon Stewart and Chris Rock, and how the mingling with stars and celebrities is simply now a part of his everyday life. After his short set of around fifteen minutes, Davidson precedes to introduce a list of his “best friends” to perform, all of whom were either a musician or a comedian. This comedy special fundamentally was a success. Although the musical acts at times felt like they had no relation to the show, other than serving as a spectacle of entertainment, each of the stand-up comedians that performed on stage had an insightful and hilarious point of view concerning sensitive societal topics today.
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Who Is Pete Davidson?
Pete Davidson is an actor, writer, stand-up comedian, and filmmaker. He was born in Staten Island, New York, and received his first big break by being selected to act for the television channel MTV, in a guest appearance for the show, ‘Guy Code.’ “Following this, he hit the stand-up comedy circuit in the US before appearing on TV police-based sitcom ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine.’” In 2014 Pete Davidson joined the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ at the young age of 20 years old, and gained a popular following among fans of the show. Davidson has undeniably proven himself as an entertainer. Throughout his career, Pete Davidson has continued to make a name for himself in the world of live comedy and acting. Davidson, who has gone on to make movies in which he is the lead star, particularly his most recent film, ‘The King of Staten Island,’ reflects the growing status of Davidson as a performer.
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In his newest comedy special, ‘Pete Davidson Presents: The Best Friends,’ it is clear from the way the set is established that Pete Davidson is the main attraction and headliner. The special revolves around Pete and he serves as the glue which connects the entirety of the performances of the night. By viewing this first hand, it dawns on the viewer that not only is Pete Davidson a comedian, actor, and filmmaker, but now he also serves as a promoter and producer. This particular comedy special could never have existed without Davidson, and rather than solely serving as a comedy show, this live set serves as a symbolic visual of the height and popularity that Pete Davidson has reached this point in his career!
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What Prompted Davidson’s Transition away from SNL into A Solo Performance Act?
In an interview in February 2021, Pete Davidson revealed the “cutthroat,” atmosphere that goes on behind the scenes in ‘SNL.’ He stated, “Everyone’s trying to get their s–t on. Everyone wants to be the next thing. So it’s not like a loving, caring … Like you’re not going to get coddled over there. You know, they don’t give a f–k at the end of the day.” In this same specific interview Davidson discusses the fact that he’s had many conversations about leaving the show, and recently in May 2022, he announced that he would be in fact resigning from his place as a writer and actor on the live hit series. As Davidson has become a larger star thrust into the main light of the public eye, so too has he been met by widespread criticism and societal condemnation for events in both his public and private life.
Davidson spoke directly about this by mentioning his co-workers’ treatment of him while working on his last season of ‘SNL.’ He stated, “I have a weird feeling in that building where I don’t know whose team they’re playing for, really — If I’m the joke or I’m in on the joke.” This unfair treatment could be seen as a contributor to what has eventually led to Davidson leaving the show. Davidson who has grown to be a well-known individual now has surpassed his colleagues on, ‘SNL,’ and their predilection to make jokes at his expense can be viewed as their own personal resentment of his overwhelming success.
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Overall Review of Davidson’s Recent Comedy Special
‘Pete Davidson Presents: The Best Friends,’ is a successful comedy show. There are certainly times when the musical acts combined with Davidson singing lyrics or shouting ad-libs on stage take away from the overall quality of the show, but despite this, the stand-up comedy performances were all well-rehearsed and comical. Davidson’s own set where he monologues about his life and being berated via social media by Kanye West is open, tasteful, and reflects his own maturity. This did not prevent him from making jokes at the expense of West, but still, Davidson showed a level of consideration for his own private life and current girlfriend, Kim Kardashian by choosing not to go in-depth about the situation. He denoted his online beratement, as a second “personal,” COVID, in which he was the sole victim. Davidson’s clever relation between his private life and the global occurrences that are affecting American society and the world reflects his skill and innate talent for comedy.
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Not only was Davidson humorous, but so too were the comedy acts that followed him. All acts that performed were close friends with Davidson and they all followed a similar format to him in their set. They all began by discussing a sensitive ongoing disagreement within society and then as their performance went on they related this debate to themselves and their own views on a personal level using humor as the medium. Of these acts, none were particularly memorable although each comedian was clearly a well-skilled and seasoned performer. Overall, this was a well-planned comedy special and Davidson clearly has a skill for being able to put a show of talented performers together. The musical acts featuring Big Wet and Machine Gun Kelly, felt completely out of place, and in the future Davidson would be well advised to keep the performances in his shows strictly to comedians.
Cast: Pete Davidson, Big Wet, Nico White, Giulio Gallarotti, Carly Aquilino, Dave Sirus, Joseph Vincent Gay, Jordan Rock
By Thomas Jacobs
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Thomas Jacobs is an avid writer, Cinema aficionado, and filmmaker. He graduated with Dean’s Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a major in Film and Digital Media. His passion is directly tied to the appreciation and creation of film and television, and this fact is reflected in his intent to be a writer for the acclaimed entertainment journal, The Hollywood Insider. His beliefs mirror the core goals and mission statement of The Hollywood Insider by sharing an admiration for quality entertainment as well as bolstering a sense of positivity and equality among all humans. Thomas believes that Cinema is an advantageous promoter of civil and social empowerment, and he shares a mutual societal view with The Hollywood Insider, that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.