Brow Beat

Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson Tries to Figure Out Why Staten Island Hates Him

A highlight of this week’s Saturday Night Live was a hilarious “Weekend Update” visit from Pete Davidson, in which he looked at his home borough of Staten Island and the bizarre, inexplicable animosity with which the locals view his career. It can’t be easy to be hated in the place you came from, but it’s all the more galling to Davidson because Colin Jost also hails from Staten Island, and the local press loves the “Weekend Update” anchor at least as much as they hate Pete Davidson. For example, as Davidson shows, the Staten Island Advance reports on Jost playing a charity golf tournament with flattering lines like “It’s about three weeks till the election, but you could never tell by Colin Jost’s swing.” Meanwhile, a review of a Pete Davidson bit draws faint praise like, “The best part about this one was his interaction with Colin Jost.”

It’s baffling to Davidson what he’s done to deserve that kind of treatment, but he has a theory: “I mean, if I had to guess, it’s maybe something I said in an interview once: that I wished that when Hurricane Sandy hit Staten Island, it had finished the job.” Davidson’s being a little modest here: though he’s talked about Staten Island enough that it’s not immediately obvious which interview he’s referring to, here’s what he had to say about his hometown when Uproxx asked:

F*ck them. They all suck. They have nothing to do with me or my success. It’s a terrible borough, filled with terrible people. A f*cking tidal wave could take out Staten Island and I wouldn’t even move in my sleep. In fact I would sleep better. F*ck Staten Island. A bunch of Trump-supporting f*cking jerk offs. F*ck them. End quote.

That sounds pretty harsh, true, but as Davidson explained, his former neighbors could have had more of a sense of humor about it:

It was just a joke—a serious joke. You know, like, when you’re joking but you mean it? But I don’t even feel that way anymore! I’d be just as happy if there were no hurricane and Staten Island just fell into the sea.

This is maybe the funniest Davidson’s been on the show so far: relaxed, confident, and visibly having a blast, especially when he ribs Jost about his recent triumph at being named People’s sexiest joke writer (“A really specific category,” he notes). Unfortunately, Davidson’s olive branch doesn’t seem to have solved anything at the Staten Island Advance. At publication time, their homepage’s lead headline read, “S.I. cops, firefighters blasted as ‘racist’ on SNL.”