Staten Island native, son of FDNY 9/11 hero, debuts on ‘Saturday Night Live’

By Lauren Steussy Staten Island Advance

Pete Davidson, photo by Rob Bailey, Staten Island Advance

Pete Davidson, photo by Rob Bailey, Staten Island Advance

This weekend’s premiere of “Saturday Night Live” will have a familiar name in the opening credits.

Great Kills native Pete Davidson makes his first appearance on the iconic sketch comedy show Saturday, September 27, after joining the cast less than two weeks ago.

At 20, he’s one of the “SNL’s” youngest members.

Davidson spoke to the Advance the day NBC announced he would be added to the cast. At the time, he wasn’t sure if he would appear in any skits, but said his name would appear in the credits.

“I’m freaking out a little but I’m excited,” he said at the time. “It’s such a crazy thing you never thought would ever happen.”

FF Scott Davidson

FF Scott Davidson

The son of Scott Davidson, a firefighter who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks, has been performing stand-up since he was 16 years old. After touring the country doing shows at colleges and comedy clubs, he made his standup TV debut on AXS TV’s “Gotham Comedy Live” before appearing on Comedy Central’s “Adam Devine’s House Party.”

The comedian’s young age is often the subject of his standup comedy and humor. He appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in April to talk about his quick rise to comedy success.

“I just dropped out of college,” Davidson told the late night host of his departure from St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. “That’s my big move this year.”

He joked during a standup routine that he couldn’t get past “dorm life.”

Comedian and actor Nick Cannon discovered Davidson when he cast the 17-year-old newcomer on MTV’s “Wild ‘n’ Out.”

“That kind of just gave me a buzz,” Davidson said in a previous interview with the Advance. “People would look at me a little differently.”

Cannon and Davidson went on tour together and co-hosted radio station 92.3 NOW’s morning show, “Rollin with Nick Cannon.” Last year, he guest starred on FOX’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and made his film debut this year in Cannon’s “School Dance.”

Davidson attended St. Joseph’s School, then Tottenville High School before transferring to a school in Brooklyn. Growing up on Staten Island gave him a certain resilience, which has helped him along his career in comedy, he said.

“It’s one of those places where you have your few friends and everyone else doesn’t like you,” he said. “It helped me develop a thick skin, which helps in stand-up when jokes don’t always go the way you want them to go or people don’t laugh or they don’t agree with everything you say.”

Davidson’s name isn’t the only new addition to the show. Former cast member Darrell Hammond will now announce the credits. He replaces longtime SNL announcer Don Pardo, who passed away in August at 96-years-old. Pardo had read the credits every year since the show began in 1975.

Davidson also joins Colin Jost — another Staten Island native, who will co-host the parody news show Weekend Update with Michael Che.

“SNL’s” 40th season starts at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. “Parks and Recreation” actor Chris Pratt hosts the show and musical guest Ariana Grande will perform.

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