As soon as Pete Davidson was hired to be a featured player on season 40 of Saturday Night Live in 2014, people took note. Somehow, a 20-year-old kid slipped by the gatekeepers of comedy and was sitting at the desk of Weekend Update talking about his life and physical appearance.
Since joining the cast, Davidson has gained a significant following and become a recognizable face. But the young comedian decidedly reached the height of his fame in May 2018 when the now 24-year-old was reported to have entered into a relationship with mega-celebrity Ariana Grande. The couple met when Grande was a musical guest on SNL.
Before this attention translates to new gigs, let’s take a look at how much Davidson has earned so far throughout his career.
Pete Davidson Net Worth As Of 2019: $500,000
Online sources estimate Davidson’s net worth to be approximately $500,000. For a comedian just entering his mid-twenties, this is no small feat.
Early Life (1993-2010)
Peter Davidson was born in Staten Island, New York on November 16, 1993, making him the first SNL cast member to be born in the ’90s. Davidson experienced a tragic and transformative loss at only seven years old when his father Scott, a fireman, died in service during the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. This had a profound impact on Davidson, who responded by misbehaving in school and even pulling out his hair. When he was 8, he began to wrestle with suicidal ideation.
After encouragement from his friends, Davidson tried stand-up for the first time at 16 in a bowling alley in Staten Island. He continued from there, explaining to the San Francisco Chronicle that “[he] just needed to be an attention whore for 12 minutes a day every day.”
At 17 or 18, Davidson was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, and one of the reasons for his weed habit it to deal with the pain. After graduating from Xaverian High School in 2011 he quickly dropped out of St. Francis College because he didn’t like dorm life.
Starting in 2013, the comedian kicked off his career on MTV, notably by showing up in four episodes of the reality comedy series Guy Code and six episodes of Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out. Around the same time, his stand-up was aired on Comedy Central and he performed on shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Davidson met high ranking SNL cast member Bill Hader when he nabbed a small part in the movie Trainwreck. When Hader mentioned him to producer Lorne Michaels, Davidson was given the opportunity to audition for the show.
Generally, Davidson does not shy away from private or ultra-uncomfortable topics in his comedy. This tendency has shaped his stint thus far at SNL, where he appears more as himself – the “resident young person” – giving candid opinions during Weekend Update than as a character in sketches (which he often jokes about).
Pete Davidson’s best character, and the one to whom he owes all his success is Pete Davidson: the lanky, racially ambiguous stoner. He is unmistakably masculine but has a distinctly modern vulnerability that gives his act an easy yet strong sort of intimacy.
So far, differences between his on-stage and off-stage personas are nonexistent. Davidson accomplishes this by being brutally honest about himself and his past: he finds empowerment through joking about his father’s death and other traumatic experiences. For many audiences, this is an unexpected shock.
Since being on SNL, Davidson has beefed up his resume. He was a roaster on the Comedy Central Roast of both Justin Beiber and Rob Lowe, he released a first comedy special Pete Davidson: SMD, and was named in Forbes 30 under 30 list.
Characteristically, Davidson does not profess perfection. Since entering the public eye, he has struggled with a borderline personality disorder and visited rehab. In March of 2017, Davidson revealed on Instagram that he was completely sober for the first time in 8 years (with the exception of marijuana, which he continues to use therapeutically and cannot perform without).
It is unsurprising that the honest and casual humor with which Davidson discusses being “crazy” is what keeps him worth watching. It is fitting that only a (suspiciously) short time before getting together with Ariana Grande, he had been in a serious 2-year relationship with Larry Davids daughter, Cazzie David. The comedians specific brand of effortless hip fits in perfectly with the modern pop culture of Supreme and Complex, a fact only aided by his self-confessional style. In many ways, Davidson is the more relatable comedian counterpart of Grande’s ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller. In Davidson, those in their late teens and twenties are able to see themselves, even if they have nothing in common with him on paper.
I had the opportunity to see Davidson perform live at my college in Fall 2016. He was more obviously high, yet no less composed than on television. Before getting off stage, he took some questions from the audience. One student asked, “Do you know where you are right now?”
Davidson spent a moment thinking it over and giggling before admitting “no”. Hundreds of college students erupted in laughter.
Pete Davidson appears in the coming-of-age comedy Big Time Adolescence. Davidson’s talents can be transformed into an actual star image.