Why Pete Davidson May Be 'Ready To Hang Up The Jersey' And Leave 'SNL'

Was there any drama behind the scenes?

Pete Davidson Getty Images

Pete Davidson is adding fuel to the rumors that he’s leaving “SNL” by saying he’s “ready to hang up the jersey.”

The comedian hinted that his time on “Saturday Night Live” might be coming to a close as he discussed fellow castmate Kenan Thompson’s 18-year run during the Hollywood Reporter's Comedy Actor Roundtable.

“Yeah, I’m good. I’m surprised I made it to seven [seasons],” Davidson said, clearly not envious of Thompson’s long tenure on the show.


"I'm ready to hang up the jersey. Kenan's like f— Karl Malone out there."

Why is Pete Davidson leaving ‘SNL’?

Though nothing has been confirmed about Davidson’s departure, there are some theories related to some ups and downs he's had over the past couple of seasons that people think may explain his choice to leave "SNL."

Speculation that Davidson is leaving the sketch-comedy show first emerged last week when he closed out the season final of “SNL” with a heartfelt message to the audience.

“I’m very grateful to be here, and it’s been an honor to grow up in front of you guys,” he said.


Now, Davidson’s comments about throwing in the towel — or in this case the “jersey” — suggest the 27-year-old is moving on to other opportunities. But, why is Davidson leaving the show after so many years?

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Is Pete Davidson tired of being the butt of the joke on SNL?

Davidson’s celebrity status and high-profile personal life have made him the subject of many jokes during his time on the show, particularly in the aftermath of his relationship with Ariana Grande. He gave "Weekend Updates" about his personal life himself.


The comedian recently spoke to Charlamagne Tha God about his distaste for some of the sketches and jokes about him in 2020.

“I’m like, cold open, political punchlines,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Weekend Update’ jokes.”

Davidson expressed his frustration about jokes being made in his absence and laughs at his expense.


“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,” he added. “But if I'm just fodder now ... maybe I shouldn't be there.”

He did, however, address these comments in his recent interview saying that he is “really appreciative” of his time on the show.

“I was in a really different place a year or two ago, and I’m not exactly proud of how I handled or was handling things a few years ago,” Davidson shared.

Did Davidson fall out with the SNL cast?

After that interview, it was reported that Davidson bailed on the “SNL" afterparty and was experiencing some tensions with his castmates.


Chris Redd, Aidy Bryant, and Bowen Yang were allegedly fuming over Davidson’s comments.

“What he said during his interviews has made a lot of folks at NBC upset, and they don’t want to work with him,” a source said.

Davidson has addressed his mental health struggles live on the show so it’s understandable that he might feel a lack of support from his castmates and their continued jokes.

However, given his recent expressions of appreciation for “SNL,” it’s possible he wants to leave on a high while still on good terms with his fellow cast members.


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Davidson has been pursuing acting, and may simply want more room for that in his schedule.

Davidson has been making the transition away from sketch comedy toward roles in film for the past number of years.

In 2020, he starred in his semi-autobiographical comedy “The King of Staten Island,” which he co-wrote with Judd Apatow. He's said his motive for making the film was partially driven by the fact that his personal life had been overshadowing his career.


Later this year, he is set to appear in the second installment of “The Suicide Squad," which is being released in August 2021.

It’s possible Davidson’s desire to let his fictional characters do the talking and leave his private life private has pushed him further away from “SNL” and toward film.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.