Every comedian that comes to perform at Binghamton University tends to have the same opening, talking about how the campus is in the middle of nowhere. Pete Davidson, however, took it to a new level when he said he would like to audition for one of our theatre productions, holding up a poster he found in his dressing room for the play “Bad Jews.”
“Are there open auditions? Do they just go to you like ‘you’re the worst Jew?’ I’m hanging this up in my basement,” Davidson said.
With that, the “Saturday Night Live” cast member kicked off an energetic comedy show at the Osterhout Concert Theater, which sold out on the day that tickets became available.
“He’s known for making pretty controversial jokes,” said Allison Suttenberg, a sophomore majoring in psychology who attended the show. “My friends and I wanted to see what he would say and we didn’t know what to expect.”
Dressed casually in sweatpants, a sweatshirt that said “pizza rat” on it and an FDNY baseball cap, Davidson did not stray away from performing unpolished material. Early into his act, he stated that this was his second-to-last college show and that he was going to try new material out with the audience before filming a new comedy special.
“The problem with trying out new jokes is that most of them are not good,” Davidson said. “So just so you know, I know. I don’t want you to think I think I’m up here crushing it.”
One of the first jokes he told for the night was about R. Kelly, a piece he has done on the “Weekend Update” portion on “Saturday Night Live.” In it, he talked about how supporting the Catholic Church was as bad as listening to R. Kelly’s music. He took it up a notch, however, by jokingly claiming that the burning of Notre Dame was intentional.
“I think it was an inside job,” Davidson said. “It was a really old church, so I bet there was a lot of rape in there and someone burned it down to get rid of the evidence. And then a billionaire came out of nowhere and was like ‘Oh no, the church burned down? Here are a million dollars to build a new one.’ When does that happen, ever? It never happens. My favorite vape shop burned down in Staten Island and no one ever rebuilt it. Nobody cares about Tommy’s Vapes and Smokes.”
At times, Davidson seemed to really enjoy being on stage. He laughed to himself multiple times after telling jokes he liked and complimented the audience for being “chill,” mentioning how he “hadn’t had much luck at colleges recently.” He was referring to his previous show at the University of Central Florida, where he cursed out the audience for taking their phones out during the performance. Prior to this show, Jillian Pizzuto, comedy chair of the Student Association Programming Board and a senior majoring in Spanish, made an announcement that students were not allowed to use their phones in the theater.
Going on with the show, Davidson’s materials ranged from comparing Apple rental services to the mafia to stories about his father, a firefighter who died during the 9/11 attacks.
Brendan Hurley, a sophomore pursuing an individualized major, appreciated how honest yet funny Davidson was throughout the show.
“He was open about his life, struggles with social media and his father,” Hurley said. “He knocked it out of the park. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time.”
At the end of the show, Davidson did a Q&A session. Some asked about his time on Saturday Night Live and one student gave him a sweatshirt from the Rathskeller Pub.
Austin Fox, a sophomore majoring in political science, came to the show because of his love for “Saturday Night Live” and said that the Q&A at the end was his favorite part, even after an audience member asked Davidson what his plans were for Wednesday, Sept. 11, the anniversary of his father’s death.
“Someone asked him what he was doing on Wednesday, which was so bad, but he responded pretty funnily after being thrown back,” Fox said.