While it is not much of a surprise anymore for a young comedian to hit it big with a “slacker-stoner” reputation, Pete Davidson has still managed to exceed expectations in other ways. Breaking out on Saturday Night Live with his amusing, autobiographical rants as Weekend Update’s “Resident Young Person” was only the beginning of what he had in store for his career as an actor, writer, producer, and for just being himself.
Born and raised on Staten Island, Davidson is now one of the biggest names in comedy, and not just for what he has done for the sake of making people laugh. He has also show his deeper side by taking on more serious acting roles (one of which was based off of himself, but more on that later) and in August 2021, he made his comic book movie debut as Blackguard in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
There is still plenty to watch for fans (and fans-to-be) of Pete Davidson to keep themselves entertained as they wait for his next big projects. The following are 12 of the most essential movies and TV shows featuring the comedy star that are available to stream or digitally rent, starting with his ultimate claim-to-fame.
Saturday Night Live (2014-2022)
Live from New York, executive producer Lorne Michaels’ variety series remains the premier example of TV sketch comedies after more than four decades on the air.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: Pete Davidson became the first Saturday Night Live cast member to be born in the 1990s when the then 21-year-old joined in 2014 and went on to become a performer to look forward to week after week, sometimes just to see what he will shock the Studio 8H audience with next.
Pete Davidson: Alive From New York (2020)
The comedian riffs on his brief engagement to Ariana Grande, the time Louis C.K. tried to get him fired from Saturday Night Live, and other amusing personal details while performing his act in his hometown.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: In Alive from New York, his first Netflix original stand-up special, Pete Davidson finds plenty of ways to shock his audience almost purely by talking about himself, including the tragic loss of his firefighter father on September 11, 2001.
Stream Pete Davidson: Alive From New York on Netflix (opens in new tab).
The King Of Staten Island (2020)
Years after the loss of his father on September 11, 2001, a young New York slacker struggles to come to terms with adulthood when his mother starts dating a new firefighter.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: Director Judd Apatow co-wrote The King of Staten Island with star Pete Davidson, whose own life served as the inspiration for this funny and heartily honest meditation on maturity.
Rent/buy The King of Staten Island on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Big Time Adolescence (2020)
A naive teenager (Locke & Key’s Griffin Gluck) struggles to come to terms with his approaching adulthood when he is taken under the wing of his older sister’s 23-year-old college dropout ex-boyfriend (Pete Davidson).
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: In addition to once again playing an immature slacker in a movie released in 2020, Pete Davidson also served as a producer on Big Time Adolescence - an endearing, Hulu exclusive coming-of-age story from first-time director Jason Orley which earned a Grand Jury Prize nomination at the Sundance Film Festival.
Stream Big Time Adolescence on Hulu (opens in new tab).
The Dirt (2019)
Four young musicians from Hollywood embark on a most gratuitous journey of sex, drugs, and rock ’n roll as they become one of the most popular and notorious hair metal bands of the 1980s.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: Before acting alongside Machine Gun Kelly in Big Time Adolescence, Pete Davidson played his onscreen band manager, Tom Zutaut, in The Dirt - Jeff Tremaine’s Netflix exclusive adaptation of Motley Crüe’s best-selling 2001 autobiography.
Stream The Dirt on Netflix (opens in new tab).
Set It Up (2018)
A young man (Glen Powell) and woman (Zoey Deutch) who both feel overworked by the big time corporate executives they assist in New York (Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu) realize the answer to their prayers may be in teaming up to play matchmaker for the both of them.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: In his first Netflix original production, Pete Davidson plays the very non-stereotypically gay roommate of the male lead of Set It Up - a fun, classically done romantic comedy from Emmy-winning TV director Claire Scanlon.
Stream Set It Up on Netflix (opens in new tab).
What Men Want (2019)
A female sports agent (Taraji P. Henson) struggles to climb up in the ranks along with her male colleagues until an accident gives her the ability to read men's thoughts.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: This time, Pete Davidson plays a non-stereotypically gay co-worker of the female lead of What Men Want - a gender-swapped take on the 2000 romantic fantasy comedy What Women Want, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.
Rent/buy What Men Want on Amazon (opens in new tab).
A writer for a men's magazine who has sworn off commitment since her parents' divorce finds her romantic philosophies challenged when she begins to fall for the subject of her latest article, a doctor who specializes in treating star athletes.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: Years before teaming with Judd Apatow on his own semi-autobiographical film, the director cast Pete Davidson in an uncredited cameo as a patient of Bill Hader's Dr. Aaron Conners in Trainwreck - a semi-autobiographical romantic comedy written by and starring Amy Schumer that actually helped Davidson get hired on SNL.
Rent/buy Trainwreck on Amazon (opens in new tab).
The Jesus Rolls (2019)
A recently released convict and champion bowler (John Turturro), his longtime friend (Bobby Cannvale), and a sexually dissatisfied woman (Audrey Tatou) go on a crime spree in the woman's lover's stolen muscle car.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: John Turturro reprises his role as Jesus Quintana in The Jesus Rolls - a sort of sequel to The Big Lebowski in which Pete Davidson shows up at one point as the son of his late friend who joins them on a heist after picking him up from prison.
Pete Davidson: SMD (2016)
Going to "prehab," Justin Bieber, and his own crazy experiences with psychedelic mushrooms are among the topics that Pete Davidson pokes fun at New York City's Skirball Center.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: In his very first stand-up special, which originally aired on Comedy Central, Pete Davidson also goes into his experiences since the death of his father, whose initials, SMD, were the inspiration for the title, as well as a lewd phrase the letters also happen to be an acronym for.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019)
The flightless denizens of Bird Island must form an alliance with their swine enemy King Leonard and his army when a tyrannical eagle threatens to cause problems for both of them.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: Before he was cast in the title role of Netflix's animated film, Marmaduke, Pete Davidson made his animated voiceover role debut as Jerry the Eagle, one of the funniest side characters of The Angry Birds Movie 2 - a sequel to the movie adaptation of the popular mobile gaming app.
Rent/buy The Angry Birds Movie 2 on Amazon (opens in new tab).
School Dance (2014)
A freshman (Bobb'e J. Thompson) tries to land a spot on his high school's most popular dance clique in hopes of winning the heart of the girl of his dreams.
Why It’s A Must-Watch If You Like Pete Davidson: Before he first appeared on Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson made his feature film debut in School Dance - a raunchy coming-of-age comedy with some impressive choreography, which Davidson's Wild 'N Out co-star Nick Cannon co-wrote and directed.
Rent/buy School Dance on Amazon (opens in new tab).
I wonder how many people remember that Pete Davidson was also a competitive improv comedy performer on Wild 'N Out. Believe it or not, he is actually one of several alumni of the popular MTV series to later transition onto Saturday Night Live, including Taran Killam and Mikey Day. Personally, I would love to see a reunion show with those SNL cast members going head-to-head someday, but one can only hope.