Pete Davidson Talks Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly in Las Vegas Stand-Up Debut

Pete Davidson — Getty — H 2019
Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic

The 'Saturday Night Live' star finally hit the stage in Sin City after canceling last year’s performance at the Life Is Beautiful festival.

"My biggest fear is getting killed by a 12-year-old," quipped Pete Davidson as he closed out a set of new material Sunday at The Mirage’s Aces of Comedy in Las Vegas. 

His spontaneous comedic line was a gift for those who patiently waited through the hourlong monologue for Davidson to mention his famous ex-girlfriends, including Ariana Grande and Kate Beckinsale. It was the only time he referenced his tumultuous love life and came after an audience member tossed a joint onstage for the 25-year-old.

Sunday night’s performance marked Davidson’s Las Vegas premiere, a year after he backed out of the city’s Life Is Beautiful festival, where he would have performed as part of its Kicker Comedy showcase on the heels of his highly publicized breakup with Grande.

As expected, Saturday Night Live's youngest castmember hit all the pop culture notes and didn’t shy away from controversial topics such as Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly and Michael Jackson. 

"It's a weird time," Davidson said onstage of Hollywood's "cancel culture." "Jokes are very scary to tell. Isn't that weird? That's the scariest thing you could do right now. Tell a joke. Because really, I think people pick and choose what they want to be mad at. You, know? Because it's all depending on if you like the person or not."

He added: "It's easy to hate Harvey Weinstein because he's ugly and fat, but then, like, R. Kelly comes around and you're, like, 'Well, he had his demons.' But then 'Ignition Remix' was a great song. So we can look past that. Harvey Weinstein didn't have no 'Ignition Remix.'"

Davidson also addressed HBO's Leaving Neverland: "There's a full two-hour documentary about Michael Jackson. People are like, 'He had a rough childhood.' People pick and choose."

With two films on the horizon in 2020 — including The Jesus Rolls, a spinoff of The Big Lebowski, and a yet-to-be-titled Judd Apatow movie based on the story of Davidson’s life — the comedian shared why he embarked on a summer stand-up tour that is taking him to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Sept. 6), Caesars Atlantic City (Sept. 7) and two shows in Toronto on Sept. 21 before returning to New York for the season 45 debut of SNL on Sept. 28 with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.

"Unfortunately, I have to try stuff that I haven't really been working," Davidson said. "It hasn't been good yet, so, just so you know, when you think it's not good … I know. I don't want us to sit here thinking like, 'You know, he thinks he's great.' No, I'm very self-aware … you got to try things … to see if it's going to be good or not. You know? Billy Joel can just come out and fucking sing 'Piano Man' for 40 years … I can't come out and talk about being in high school forever."

The Mirage’s Aces of Comedy is a long-running series that brings top talents in the comedic genre to an intimate theater setting. Alums include Tracy Morgan, Daniel Tosh, Jay Leno, Bill Maher and many others.