Some people know him from Saturday Night Live. Some know him as Ariana Grande’s boo. But there are plenty of things people don’t know about Pete Davidson. He’s not just the guy who proposed to Grande after a few weeks of dating. And he’s also not just the guy on SNL who smokes a lot of weed. He’s a multi-layered comedian and a successful one at that! From his early days trying out his comedy chops to his current film and TV ventures, there is a lot to know about the future Mr. Ariana Grande.
Davidson is not just a funnyman, though. He’s been open and honest about his mental health struggles as well as issues with substance abuse. He’s also dealt with losing a parent in an unimaginable way. Now more than ever, the young star is in the spotlight because of who he’s engaged to. And there is plenty being said about Pete! But here are some true things about the comedian that you need to know!
19. Pete was born and raised in Staten Island, New York
Davidson’s owned his “Staten Island trash” reputation with pride! He’s even gone on SNL‘s “Weekend Update” (with fellow Staten Island native Colin Jost) to talk about his hometown — and poke a little fun at it in the process. And by that, we mean he said he wishes Hurricane Sandy had just taken the whole place out. So, we’re gonna bet he’s not moving back there any time soon! Which is fine, since he and Grande just bought a $16 million apartment in NYC! He did recently take his lady love to Staten Island for a date night, though, to meet his hometown friends!
18. He first tried his hand at standup at a bowling alley at the age of 16
His first stand-up gig was totally unplanned and not in a traditional venue. He was dared by some friends at a bowling alley when he was just a teen! While Pete says he was nervous, he smoked a joint and jumped up on stage. And from there, a stand-up pro was born! He still performs all over the country despite being on SNL… mostly because he can say whatever he wants in his stand-up act. While he has to censor himself for live TV, he can say whatever dirty, inappropriate, curse-laden things he wants to when he’s up on stage. So don’t expect “SNL‘s Resident Young Person” to be the same as the man on stage when he performs!
17. He has Crohn’s Disease
Davidson was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in his late teens and has suffered from it ever since. The disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the digestive tract leading to stomach pains, nausea and vomiting, and excessive bowel movements. The disease made him feel horrible when he was performing so he turned to medical marijuana to ease his pains. Pete has said that without smoking weed, he’s unable to perform and that his performances are less than great when he’s sober. The drug also helps him eat when his stomach hurts badly and he doesn’t have an appetite. Nothing like the munchies to get you eating!
16. He smokes marijuana regularly
Like we mentioned, Pete has Crohn’s Disease so marijuana helps him eat. But he also smokes regularly to help himself relax and to fall asleep at night. Though he’s been clear that he doesn’t just smoke all day and get high for the hell of it. He uses it to help his physical and mental conditions. The drug also has some ties to him and Grande’s relationship reportedly! When asked recently at a stand-up gig how he proposed to Grande, he said it happened while he was in bed smoking weed!
15. He attended St. Francis College… for a little bit at least!
Even though Pete got into and studied for a time at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, he decided that higher education wasn’t for him. He recalled in a stand-up segment that he dropped out of college to pursue comedy — and also because he hated dorming! The 24-year-old star opted for Saturday Night Live to be his college, instead, and we’d say he’s learning a lot!
14. He’s a huge Kid Cudi fan
Davidson doesn’t just like Cudi, he credits the rapper with saving his life. He said during an interview that he would have killed himself as a teen if not for Kid Cudi’s music. Pete’s fave Cudi album is Man on the Moon, and it is the album that has helped him the most. Cudi famously fell off the radar for a bit to go to rehab for suicidal urges, something Davidson is actually grateful to know. The funnyman says that knowing your hero goes through similar things as you is a bit comforting. Your heroes are human after all!
13. He was on the shows Guy Code and Wild ‘n Out on MTV
If you thought you knew his face before he turned up on SNL, turns out you were right! Before his days on the sketch comedy show, he was part of two other funny shows. He had several cameos on MTV’s Guy Code and traded jabs with Nick Cannon on Wild ‘n Out. It was his time on MTV that led him to his first high-profile girlfriend, Carly Aquilino. The two broke up long ago (in 2015), but she still went to social media to make jokes seemingly about his engagement to Grande after the news hit!
12. He’s a huge Harry Potter fan
Davidson’s love of Harry Potter is well-documented. He has tattoos commemorating the Boy Who Lived, and it’s part of the way he and Grande bonded! Ariana even posted an Instagram video of Davidson razzing the pop songstress for her knowledge of all the little, trivial things in the series. Pete recalls the first movie coming out on his birthday and getting hooked from there, reading all the books soon after. But his favorite thing about the series? It’s not a love story. In an interview, he hilariously said,
It’s not a lame-ass love story that they try to put into everything, Harry doesn’t get p*ssy, like, once. It’s great.
He also notes that it’s the best YA series there is, bemoaning the Divergent series and Twlight. We don’t blame him, Harry Potter is the best.
11. Grande robbed the cradle with him — he’s younger than her!
Turns out he’s into older ladies! Well, moderately older. Grande was born on June 26th, 1993 and Pete was born on November 16th, 1993. So, same year, but five months is a long time! It’s also a little shocking that the two were born in the same year! Their personalities, career trajectories, and even looks make it seem like they’re totally different ages. Not only did Pete get an older woman, he got a super successful one at that. He seems totally unthreatened by her massive fame and the few months she’s got on him. Get you a man who supports you and doesn’t think he has to be the breadwinner!
10. He was one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2016
He was successful and notable long before he met Grande! While she’s a superstar, he’s nothing to shrug at. In 2016, he was one of Forbes magazine’s ’30 under 30′ in Hollywood & Entertainment. The up-and-comer was recognized for his hard work on SNL as a star to watch out for. And he’s only shot upward from there! From TV roles to movies, he’s been upping his comedy game and showing Forbes they were totally right to pick Davidson as someone worth checking out.
9. He dated Larry David‘s daughter Cazzie for two years before meeting Ariana Grande
Pete and Cazzie David were an item for two years before Davidson and Grande got together. The two met when Cazzie’s father was a regular guest star on SNL playing politician Bernie Sanders. The two bonded over their left-leaning politics and love of comedy. They were a totally adorbs couple that always seemed so cool and fun. They broke up in May 2018 after a couple years together and it was a mere few weeks afterward that he and Ariana were engaged. Cazzie was in Africa living her best life and we can’t blame her. If our ex got engaged ASAP after our breakup, we’d leave the country and drink our weight in wine, too.
8. He got the Queer Eye treatment from Tan France to impress his ex
France took Davidson shopping to impress Cazzie for an SNL skit ‐ but he gave him some very real and awesome advice! Pete was trying to find a good outfit to wear with David’s family when he went shopping. In the silly segment, France helped Davidson nail his fashion don’ts (i.e. loud colors) and pick things out that were still him while being more mature. “Elevated” as the QE guys would say. France recently took him shopping again, he revealed on Watch What Happens Live. This time, though, it was for his new boo Ari! And for the record, Frace is super happy for the pair!
7. He’s one of the youngest SNL cast members of all time
Davidson being on SNL is kind of a big deal since he’s one of the youngest cast members of all time. Oh, and the only one born in the ’90s! Guess that’s why he’s the “Resident Young Person!” He got the job on SNL through a friendship with a famous alum: Bill Hader. The two met when Davidson auditioned for a role in Amy Schumer‘s Trainwreck. Hader saw Pete’s potential and helped set up the interview. And the rest is very funny history!
6. He once roasted Justin Bieber
Not long after he landed his SNL gig, he was invited to slam the pop star in the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber. The star was pretty much unknown at the time aside from a few notable jokes on SNL. But he totally killed it. He outshined almost everyone else with his hilarious and heavy-hitting jokes. Nothing was off-limits and he was totally unafraid to go there. After that, Davidson was thrust even further into the limelight and there was much more attention on his regular gig on live TV!
5. His father was a firefighter who died in the towers on 9/11
One of the defining moments of the comedian’s life was his father’s death. His father, Scott Davidson, was a firefighter who died responding to the Twin Towers attack on September 11th, 2001. Davidson said that his entire comedy style has been shaped by that event. He’s not afraid to joke about the event because, as he says, it’s helped him cope with it. Pete definitely has a penchant for dark humor and even joked about his father’s death at the Roast of Justin Bieber!
“Justin, you know, I lost my dad on 9/11 and I always regretted growing up without a dad. Until I met your dad, Justin. Now I’m glad mine’s dead… Two people from the movie Soul Plane are here. Right? Kevin, Snoop, Soul Plane was the worst experience of my life involving a plane.”
4. He’s a Hillary Clinton supporter and even has a tattoo of the politician on his leg
Leading up to the 2016 election, he made his political views very apparent: he was a left-leaning Clinton supporter through and through. He even got a tattoo to commemorate the woman he called in an Instagram post his “hero!” Clinton got wind of his tattoo and says that she was honored. She also joked that now it’s way less awkward that she’s had a Pete Davidson tattoo for years! The tattoo wasn’t subtle either — it was of the politician’s entire face. The comedian has never been shy about his political views and has spent many SNL eps bashing our current President!
3. He’s a huge fan of tattoos and has several
Aside from his Hillary Clinton tattoo, Davidson has plenty more. Many of them are dedicated to his new love, Ariana Grande – Including some matching tattoos for their love! They’re both fans of tatting up their bodies and have even gone to get some tats together. Those crazy kids! Let’s hope this relationship lasts since those tattoos are forever! But he did have one dedicated to Cazzie David during their relationship, and it has been covered up since their breakup. Another one of his significant tattoos is his late father’s badge number.
2. His next project is the film Big Time Adolescence
Pete’s moving from the small screen to a major role on the big screen! While he’s appeared in movies before — notably in the recent Netflix movie Set it Up. In this upcoming film, though, he’ll play a charismatic college drop out. Hmm, sounds like he’s done some method acting for that role! He’ll be starring alongside Jon Cryer and Machine Gun Kelly in the coming-of-age film. The script was on the Hollywood Black List in 2014 of films that were extremely promising but just hadn’t been made. It’s finally getting developed and we’re guessing it’s going to propel Davidson even further into fame!
1. He has Borderline Personality Disorder
Davidson was diagnosed with BPD in 2017 after some erratic behavior sent him to rehab. He thought drinking and using marijuana were causing his mood swings and breakdowns, but it turns out it was a mental disorder. He was sober for several months after entering rehab but still felt that something was off. That’s when he sought further help and realized his condition with the help of mental health professionals. The star joked that he went right back to drinking and smoking after the diagnosis! Pete recently came out in defense of his ability to date and have stable relationships despite his condition, asserting that people with BPD aren’t less deserving of love or incapable of it because of their issues.