Saturday Night Live returned for its 45th season on Saturday night, with a star-studded show that featured guests Woody Harrelson, Billie Eilish and returning SNL star Maya Rudolph. But where in the world was Pete Davidson?
Us Weekly notes that Davidson, who has been part of the SNL cast since 2014, did not appear at all in the first episode of the milestone 45th season, despite keeping his spot as a cast member and in the opening credits. Davidson was also not on the stage with his co-stars for the SNL closing, which pretty much means he was a no-show at Studio 8H for the season premiere.
While NBC did not post an official announcement explaining Davidson’s absence, a fan on Twitter shed some light on the possible reason for his no-show status.
“Pete Davidson is still a cast member on SNL if you’re wondering. He’s currently filming Suicide Squad which is why he isn’t in tonight’s ep. Carry on.”
But another fan chimed in to say Davidson “was in Huntsville doing stand-up” on Friday night, less than 24 hours before the Saturday Night Live premiere in New York.
With his exact status on Saturday Night Live unclear, many fans hit social media to express concern over Davidson’s absence amid a roller-coaster year that has had fans worried about his mental health.
— Callie Ray ♐ (@SailorCallie) September 29, 2019
So like, is Pete Davidson okay? @nbcsnl better take good care of that kid.
— Wednesday Lee Friday ????♀️ (@WednesFri) September 29, 2019
— Christy Milas (@cam5442) September 29, 2019
— Courtney Lynn (@shortcourt_17) September 29, 2019
Decider notes that Davidson, who is best known for his brutally frank Weekend Update cameos, has had a spotty attendance record on the late-night show. Over his first five years on SNL, Davidson missed five episodes entirely, and only appeared in pre-filmed sequences in 11 other episodes. In other words, Davidson only appeared live in just 57 out of the 74 total SNL episodes for which he has been an employee. In stark contrast, co-star Beck Bennett has near-perfect attendance on the NBC comedy series.
Last year, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels told Variety that Davidson’s Weekend Update cameos alongside Colin Jost or Michael Che are some of the most popular segments on the late-night sketch comedy series.
“He has real support in the audience,” Michaels said of Davidson. “People love him.”
While his self-deprecating style can’t be replaced, with Davison out for at least one night this season, SNL producers brought in the big guns with Maya Rudolph. The SNL veteran played Sen. Kamala Harris in a sketch about the 2020 presidential candidates in a CNN town hall. In addition, comedian Larry David returned as Bernie Sanders.
Saturday Night Live airs on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.