In his first performance onstage after an Instagram post last month had alarmed many as possibly suicidal, comedian Pete Davidson on New Year's Eve joked about his ex-fiancee Ariana Grande and about fellow comic Louis C.K.'s controversial recent performance.
In a pair of scheduled "Pete Davidson & Friends" shows at The Chevalier theater in Medford, Massachusetts, at 7 p.m. and The Wilbur in nearby Boston at 9:45 p.m., the "Saturday Night Live" star brought up Grande's song "Thank U, Next," in which she thanks various exes for the life lessons the breakups taught her. Pop star Grande had released it minutes before the Nov. 3 episode of "SNL" aired.
"That ... came out before I had to put on a ... [expletive] duck hat and be, like, 'Derrrp, here's the pizza!' " Davidson, 25, said in Boston, according to E! News citing "a source inside the show." "So all my friends were there," the comic continued. "It was a sad day. We didn't know it was going to happen. … So I start playing it. And we're all like, 'Ehhh… it's OK.' We're, like, 'OK, it's not that bad for you.' "
According to Us Weekly — which did not cite a source and conflated the location, erroneously referring to "the Chevalier Theatre in Boston" — Davidson said he had told his friends, "We all have to listen to this song and you all have to look at me … it's gonna be rough." He and his pals found the song "catchy" rather than “Ehhh,” Us said, adding that Davidson joked that while most exes are not identified by name in breakup songs, "This diabolical genius named all of us."
As E! reported that same part of Davidson's set, the comic told the audience, "Here's the thing about the breakup song. Usually [with] breakup songs, you know who it's about but you don't really know." However, with this song, "Bam. She named all of us."
As for Louis C.K. — whose Dec. 16 set at Governor's in Levittown mocked Parkland shooting survivors, gay and transgender people, the developmentally disabled and other groups, and indulged in racial-stereotype clichés — Davidson, according to E!, said, "I got a Harry Potter tattoo. … Then the next day Alan Rickman, the guy who played Snape, died, and I was, like, 'Oh, what a weird coincidence.' … Then I got a Willy Wonka tattoo. Next day — Gene Wilder dies. Now I'm, like, 'All right, that's a coincidence, that's weird.' So I'm thinking of getting a tattoo of Louis C.K. What do you guys think?"
He then riffed, "That joke used to be about Aziz Ansari," who was anonymously accused in January 2018 of sexually boorish behavior during a date, "but Aziz has been nice to me recently."
Grande has not commented publicly on Davidson's New Year's Eve Show, and C.K. has no social-media accounts.
The "Saturday Night Live" star posted an alarming message on Instagram early last month that scared fans and prompted the NYPD to perform a welfare check on him. Davidson wrote, "I really don't want to be on this earth anymore."
"I’m doing my best to stay here for you but I actually don’t know how much longer I can last," he continued. "All I’ve ever tried to do was help people. Just remember I told you so,” he wrote, before subsequently deleting his Instagram account.
Grande, in since-deleted tweets, addressed Davidson and offered emotional support. The singer also traveled to Studio 8H at NBC's Rockefeller Center location to see her ex, but was denied access to Davidson, according to reports.
Hours after issuing that Instagram post on Dec. 15, Davidson — who had appeared in a prerecorded skit during "Saturday Night Live" — took the stage in person briefly to introduce musical guests Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson, featuring Sean Lennon.