“Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson had some harsh words for the NBC late-night series, complaining that his personal life is always used for jokes and that he’s constantly “painted out to be this big dumb idiot.”
In a lengthy interview with Charlamagne Tha God, Davidson said he considered leaving the long-running late-night sketch series after last year, but stayed because of Lorne Michaels. “I really wanted last year to be the last year,” he said in the video, which you can watch above. “Lorne is the s— and he’s like the best… he’s like a father figure to me.”
Davidson has been on the show since 2014 and admitted he’s had conversations with many people about when is the best time to leave. He lamented that he is primary used as fodder to make fun of his personal life, including his struggles with substance abuse and his brief romance with pop star Ariana Grande.
“I have a weird feeling in that building where I don’t know whose team they’re playing for really, if I’m the joke or I’m in on the joke,” he continued. He chalked everything up to the cutthroat nature of the show. “We have so little time. The f—ing fear of getting fired there your first three years is horrible. You’re just like, ‘Every day I’m getting fired.’ So it’s just everybody is trying to pound their work on there. You got to do what you got to do.”
Outside of playing himself, Davidson is known primarily for one-off performances as political figures like long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer and for empty-headed characters like “Chad.”
“If I’m just fodder now though, maybe I just shouldn’t be there,” he said, adding that he’s told the staff: “Picture what it’s like to be made fun of and then cut to immediately. And then try to gain the audience’s — get them on your side.” He said the only way he gets on the show is to be self-deprecating, which he said is his type of humor anyway.
“Yeah, you got to be, because they think I’m f—ing dumb. Like, I’m literally painted out to be this big dumb idiot,” he added.
Davidson said he’s still “happy to be there as long as Lorne likes me,” but he appears ready to move on after six seasons. He’s set to appear in films including “Big Time Adolescence,” “King of Staten Island” — which he co-wrote with Judd Apatow — and James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad.”
“For what I can do on the show, which is just barely anything — and it’s just Weekend Update. I feel like I’ve done 30 of those and I just feel like, yeah, I’ve done as much as I can over there.”
A representative for NBC and “SNL” did not immediatly respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.