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SNL needs Pete Davidson more than he needs SNL, which has been diminished from celebrity stunt casting

  • Davidson may be erratic, but he's become Saturday Night Live's most reliable recurring character, says Hillary Busis. She points out that SNL has become so reliant on celebrity stunt casting that it's failed to build up its cast, which has led to Davidson to becoming a big part of the show. "The show hardly has original characters like the Target Lady or the Killer Bees anymore, but it does have Pete, whose foibles appear to be an endlessly renewable resource—when he appears on the show at all," says Busis. "Davidson has missed four of the 13 episodes that have aired this season, at least in part due to filming James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. It’s Davidson’s choice, of course, to open up about these intimate subjects in a public forum. But the fact that the show tends to toss references to his mental health and dating history into everything significant he does on SNL, even 'Update' bits ostensibly focused on entirely unrelated topics, seems like the show’s way of making sure its audience remembers Davidson as an outrageous personality first and a comic second—of cashing in on his status as a very openly fragile celebrity. SNL can’t resist reminding us just how kooky Davidson is—and that he’s their kook—even when he’s not around, as in the joke that apparently inspired his impassioned remarks to Charlamagne Tha God. 'A man who drove his car to a musical festival still cannot remember where he parked his car a week after the show,' Jost said on the show’s October 5 episode last fall. 'Well, we hope you make it back soon, Pete.' A gentle jibe—but it’s easy to see how even a punchline this mild might rankle Davidson, whose personal turmoil has been supplying so much of SNL’s recent heat." ALSO: Watch Davidson give a tour of his basement apartment under his mom's house.

    TOPICS: Pete Davidson, NBC, Saturday Night Live