SNL didn’t make many big cast changeups heading into Season 41 this year, but last year, the show did make some memorable additions. One of those additions was Pete Davidson, a young comedian who, at the age of 21, is currently the youngest member of the SNL cast. The comedian’s been doing comedy since the age of 15, however, and recently spoke out to explain how he managed to land an audition in front of Lorne Michaels and the NBC staff.
It was after Amy Schumer gave me a part in Trainwreck and I met Bill Hader on set and we talked and kind of hit it off. He called me a week later and said ‘Hey, I recommended you to Lorne Michaels.’ And I was like, ‘Why?’ I was just so surprised. I didn't even know that I could audition. And the fact that I got it, I just couldn't believe it.
It’s amazing how sometimes small connections can lead to even greater opportunities. A bit part in Trainwreck is obviously even something to be proud of if you are new on the comedy scene, but Davidson’s connections with Schumer led to a connection with Hader which led to a whole new world of late night programming being opened up for the funnyman. Obviously, he still had to crush that Saturday Night Live audition—a feat that many have failed or at least believed they failed—but having those connections definitely helped. Davidson understands this and is still super enthusiastic when talking about the experience.
To illustrate that point further, Davidson also told People:
I was like, 'Oh wow, holy shit!.’ It was pretty awesome.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the story about how Trainwreck led Pete Davidson to the Saturday Night Live gig. Bill Hader actually off-handedly mentioned the Trainwreck connection in an interview last year, but Bill Hader is a man who always keeps his cool. To hear Davidson’s side of the story and his enthusiasm over the opportunity is really engaging, as it serves to illustrate how big of a deal it is to get an audition opportunity for the long-running sketch comedy series.
Davidson isn’t the youngest person to have ever joined SNL. When he was signed on at the age of 20, he was just a bit older than comedy phenom Eddie Murphy, who joined the long-running NBC sketch series at the age of 19. Still, it’s quite the achievement to be signed on so early, but because Davidson is a really funny guy, we’re very happy NBC went the direction it did with its Season 40 cast.
Season 41 of Saturday Night Live is currently airing. Donald Trump is the next host, and you can catch him on Saturday, November 7 at 11:30 p.m. ET.