People attending a Pete Davidson comedy show earlier this week got quite a surprise from the comedian. Members of his team asked them to sign a nondisclosure agreement before going into the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco on November 27 to see the Saturday Night Live funnyman perform.
According to a report from Deadline, the NDA featured a $1 million fine plus legal fees should somebody who signed it decides to talk about the comedian’s set after the event. In addition to being asked to sign the legal document and face a steep price should they break it, attendees also had to keep their smartwatches and mobile phones in secure pouches throughout the whole show. Taking such precautions to avoid details of the show leaking to the public is becoming a regular practice at many comedy shows.
Some people who’d purchased tickets to the event did not appreciate the surprise legal paperwork when they had plans for a night of fun after paying for the tickets to Davidson’s comedy show. Several people took to social media to express their displeasure about the document they received at the last minute via email ahead of the event. Some people like Stacy Young, who purchased tickets, even posted the NDA online.
The document outlined several restrictions for attendees.
Patrons “shall not give any interviews, offer any opinions or critiques, or otherwise participate in any form whatsoever (including but not limited to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social networking)… in the disclosure of any confidential information,” read the legal paperwork in part.
The email also noted that people who were not able or who were unwilling to sign the document would not be allowed to go into the venue, and instead, they would receive a full refund for their tickets.
Young expressed her displeasure via a Facebook post to Davidson.
“I understood and was willing to consent to the initial request of locking up any phones or cameras brought to the event, but I think this a bit ridiculous and over the top. I get that comedians are protective of their jokes and don’t want their routines rebroadcast,” she wrote. “Don’t perform for the public if you don’t want people to have an opinion about it!” advised Young.
As for the venue, the Sydney Goldstein Theater did not realize that Davidson’s team required attendees to sign the NDA before entering.
The event in San Francisco isn’t the only one where people have had to sign the NDA before watching. Another person took to Twitter to report that the comedian’s shows in Minneapolis on November 7 and 8 also required a signature and threat of a fine for breaking the NDA.
Not everybody on social media had an unfavorable opinion of Davidson’s practice, though. At least a few people felt that the funnyman wanted to protect his art with the legal requirements.