Pete Davidson says his stand-up performance during the pandemic ‘felt like my first time on stage ever’December 23, 2020
- Pete Davidson spoke to Insider about what it was like performing stand-up comedy during the pandemic.
- The "Saturday Night Live" cast member participated in an outdoor show at South Farms in Morris, Connecticut, in September, along with fellow comedians John Mulaney and Mike Birbiglia.
- "I hadn't been on stage at that point in like six, seven months," he told Insider while promoting his recent Amazon partnership.
- He continued: "It was fun, and I had a great time, but [I was] super rusty and it felt like my first time on stage ever."
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When New York City's comedy clubs closed their doors and season 45 of "Saturday Night Live" went virtual early in the pandemic, Pete Davidson, like most other comedians, didn't know when he would be able to tell jokes in person again.
"All of it got shut down," he told Insider while promoting his recent Amazon partnership, adding that he canceled his plans to tour in 2020.
"It's definitely affected a lot of working stand-up comedians, like a lot," the Staten Island native said. "People in New York City, you could usually do five to nine spots a week, and that's all you do as stand-up comics."
In September, Pete had an opportunity to exercise his comedy muscles for the first time in months.
He joined fellow comedians John Mulaney and Mike Birbiglia to perform an outdoor set in front of a socially distanced audience at the Twilight Concerts on the Farm series at South Farms in Morris, Connecticut.
Despite having extensive experience in front of crowds (and becoming one of the youngest "SNL" cast members in history at 20 years old), Pete felt out of practice.
"I hadn't been on stage at that point in like six, seven months," he recalled. "It was fun, and I had a great time, but [I was] super rusty and it felt like my first time on stage ever."
Pete also pointed out that he enjoyed spending time with his longtime friend Mulaney, who hosted "SNL" the next month on October 31.
"I got to hang out with John, so we had a really fun time," he told Insider.
Many traditional stand-up venues remain closed as cities tighten restrictions amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, but Pete remains hopeful that there will be a "big boom" in comedy after the pandemic.
"I think so many people are just going to be so anxious to go do anything. So I think that all types of live performances and movies and even just going out in general are going to be on an upswing, just because we've been cooped up for a year," he told Insider.
In the meantime, Pete has appeared regularly on season 46 of "SNL," which returned to Studio 8H on October 3.
The comedy sketch series has invited a live studio audience for each episode, requiring guests to self-administer rapid COVID-19 tests, remain separated in pods, and wear masks.
Pete and his grandfather, Stephen Davidson, recently partnered with Amazon and released a video showing how they're using the Echo Show, a smart speaker with video call capabilities, to stay connected during the pandemic.
"The Echo Show is really a godsend for grandfathers like myself, and any others, because it keeps me in touch with Peter and the rest of my grandchildren," Stephen told Insider from his home in Staten Island.
As a result of the partnership, Amazon pledged to donate $1 million worth of Amazon devices to organizations supporting first responders. One of the organizations is Answer The Call, a fund that supported Pete's family in the aftermath of his father's death.
"Answer The Call is just a really fantastic organization that helped my family when my dad passed," the comedian said of his father, Scott, who was a firefighter that died during the September 11 attacks in 2001.
He continued: "We wouldn't have been able to get through that time without their help. Just to be able to help out in any way possible to those types of organizations, we're really grateful that Amazon is doing that."
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