Pete Davidson receives undeserved criticism for his new Netflix special

By Ahmed Abukwaik || Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of nytimes.com.

*Slight spoiler alert*

Here is maybe the first review, not counting tweets, of Pete Davidson’s new Netflix special, Alive From New York, that doesn’t completely crap on it.

The well-known comedian uses his special to address a flurry of issues, most notably his beef with Saturday Night Live (SNL), Louie C.K., and his break up with Ariana Grande. 

We’ll get into the actual special, but what stood out the most to me was the coverage he got after it came out. TMZ and The New York Times, two different but major entertainment outlets, published headlines as follows: TMZ’s read, “Pete Davison LOUIS C.K. IS A ‘PIECE OF S**T’ … His Downfall Was Great!!!,” and The New York Times headline read, “Pete Davidson’s new Special Seems Like It Could Use a Hug.” The New York Times article said that the debut felt “like a late-career effort, the kind tossed together quickly to satisfy the terms of an ill-advised contract.” Hmmm… what? One of the most absurd jabs made at Davidson’s special was  the questioning of how he even became famous. I wouldn’t call this backlash to anything he said in the special, and Pete made sure to avoid any career ending controversy, but it is certainly playing down how comical his special is. Although he has a nonchalant attitude, do not let that deceive you. Those jokes are well crafted and, most importantly, funny! 

He opens with talking about how Louie C.K., the top dog at SNL at the time, made his life difficult. Yes, Davidson did make clear jabs at him, but I don’t think it was that deep. I think Davidson saw a harmless opportunity to poke fun at a down Louie – not call him a piece of sh**, as TMZ so eloquently put it. Also remember, this is a stand-up special, not a press conference. Some might respond to this by saying: “Well, why does he use this as a platform to talk about what’s going on in his life then?” Well, the man made a career out of telling jokes, and everything said in his special should be taken with a grain of salt. 

The next big thing Davidson talks about is his break up with Ariana Grande, which I thought was hilarious. He mentions that her going around talking about him in interviews justified his responses, and he jokes about how Netflix giving out specials made him think “eh why not.” I’m not sure how much I agree with that, but he did make it funny. What’s great is it’s not foul, or vulgar, and doesn’t put anything we don’t know about her out into the open. His jokes about her are well written, well delivered, and don’t spoil either the comedian or the singer. 

Pete Davidson’s delivery reminds me of the hungover kids in my 8 a.m. who have to answer a question in class, and the awkward laughs that aren’t really laughs make it even more funny. He plays into the weird, awkward, not really caring, pot-head character. This type of delivery makes the ridiculous things he says that much more funny. However, one thing did stand out to me: the choppy editing. Obviously, we know that these specials are not a one time delivery gig, but there was a clear shift that was slightly confusing to me as a viewer. However, it does not take away from the hilarity that he produces. 

P. S. If you put on the special during a “Netflix and chill”kinda night, make sure you check back on the screen at the halfway mark. There’s a special joke about those people 😉

Go watch it! It’s hilarious.

Sophomore Ahmed Abukwaik is a Staff Writer. His email is aabukwai@fandm.edu.

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