Pete Davidson addresses Israel-Hamas war and dating controversies in SNL season premiere

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Oct 16, 2023 at 01:20 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

After a brief 48th season cut short by the Hollywood writers’ strikes, Saturday Night Live (SNL) is back with season 49. And the inaugural episode was hosted by no other than the King of Staten Island himself, Pete Davidson.

What did Pete Davidson say about the Israel-Hamas war?

The show started with a cold open, in which the actor and comedian addressed the humanitarian crisis of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

“I saw so many terrible pictures this week of children suffering. Israeli children and Palestinian children and it took me back to a really, really horrible place. And you know, no one in this world deserves to suffer like that, especially not kids.”

Davidson revealed that his father, Scott Davidson, died during a terrorist attack when he was eight. Scott Davidson was a firefighter, who passed away on 11 September 2001, during the attacks on the World Trade Centre. The Israel-Hamas war has frequently been referred to as “Israel’s 9/11.”

“Sometimes comedy is the only way forward through tragedy. You know, my heart is with everyone whose lives have been destroyed this week. But tonight I’m going to do what I’ve always done in the face of tragedy. And that’s try to be funny. Remember, I said try,” Davidson added.


Pete Davidson address the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and humanitarian crisis during his #SNL monologue

♬ original sound - nbcnews

Then the show began and let me tell you, it was one for the books. We had not one but two performances by Ice Spice. One of them featured rapper Rema and was introduced by the incomparable Taylor Swift.

Pete Davidson’s SNL ‘I’m Just Pete’

Furthermore, Davidson set the internet ablaze with an iconic parody of Barbie’s ‘I’m Just Ken’ scene. Get ready for ‘I’m Just Pete’:

Needless to say the clip racked in 1.4 million views on YouTube and a whole lot of reactions from netizens to lyrics like: “Cause I’m just Pete, anywhere else, I’d be a three but I guess I’m hot for dudes in comedy, cause it’s an ugly industry,” and “I’m just Pete, my dating life is not discrete, I generate tons of publicity, for everything except my comedy.”


Pete Davidson singings “I’m Just Pete” on SNL as his version of “I’m just Ken”! 💗 #imjustkensong #imjustken #snlsketch #petedavidson #petedavidsonsnl #imjustpete

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“He roasted himself like 1000x over lol,” one user noted. “Probably the most genius thing I’ve ever seen,” another user added. And I couldn’t agree more.

What was up with Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce?

It appears as though Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce used the season premiere to make their big couple debut. Both of them had special appearances on the episode. According to the Daily Mail, the couple was also seen kissing and getting “handsy” at the afterparty. Additionally, the two were sighted holding hands prior to dinner at Nobu in what might have been their first open public display of affection since their reportedly romance began.

Their much rumoured love affair and the publicity that it generated for Kelce also became the subject of a skit on the show:

Instead of commenting on the game, the sports commentators in the sketch are making assumptions about their relationship and whether or not Swift will make an appearance to support her partner.

“I love that Taylor Swift was there at SNL for this. Since they both don’t like Kanye,” one TikTok comment noted.

Altogether, Davidson helmed a solid season premiere that will probably have netizens talking for a while, and isn’t that all the good comedy publicity he could ask for?

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