Pete joined SNL in 2014 when he was just 20, making him one of the youngest cast members in the show’s history. He left the sketch show after eight seasons, during which his personal life was frequently the subject of jokes.
“Suddenly you’re in this zeitgeist and that has nothing to do with the work,” he continued. “And that’s a really shitty feeling. I became more known before the work was there, but I was always working. I’m cool with the joke. I get the late-night jokes.”
Turning his attention to SNL, he explained, “When your own show [pokes fun at you]…I’d be sitting in the back watching the cold open and — the cold open [is] topical, political humor, whatever’s in the culture. And then, making fun of you. Then you’ve gotta walk out and do a sketch next and hit your mark and the show just made fun of you.”
“So, why are they gonna laugh at you? Like, they just dogged you in front of everyone,” he added. “And you’re like, ‘I’m a fucking loser, man.’”
“These are the people I’ve been with for almost a decade. I grew up in front of these people. They’ve watched me through the most difficult time in my life, and they’ve been there for me. And nobody ever showed more leeway and grace to me than Lorne Michaels, and I owe my life to that guy.”
“But it was fucking confusing ’cause the nature of entertainment is the nature of this business. At the end of the day, that’s what it is. This was a really difficult thing to do. You feel small. You feel super insecure,” he concluded.
It’s not the first time Pete has publicly taken issue with SNL’s depiction of him. “I personally think I should be done with that show because they make fun of me on it,” he said in 2020. “If I’m just fodder now, though, maybe I just shouldn’t be there. They think I’m fucking dumb, like I’m literally painted out to be this big dumb idiot.”