People online are praising Pete Davidson for his powerful cold open on the season premiere of SNL in which he addressed the Israel-Hamas conflict as well as losing his own father to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Last Saturday, the Palestinian militant group Hamas crossed into Israel and launched an attack that killed at least 1,300 Israelis. In return, Israeli forces attacked the Hamas-based Gaza strip where reportedly more than 2,700 Palestinians have been killed.
Davidson began his monologue by addressing the conflict:
“This week we saw the horrible images and stories from Israel and Gaza, and I know what you’re thinking: ‘Who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson?’"
“Well, in a lot of ways, I am a good person to talk about it because when I was seven years old, my dad was killed in a terrorist attack, so I know something about what that’s like.”
Davidson's father Scott was a New York firefighter who died at the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks.
The comedian continued:
“I saw so many terrible pictures this week of children suffering—Israeli children and Palestinian children—and it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place."
“No one in this world deserves to suffer like that, and especially not kids.”
Davidson shared that in an effort to cheer him up, his mother bought him a DVD that she "thought was a Disney movie" but turned out to be Eddie Murphy’s 1983 stand-up special Delirious.
“We played it in the car on the way home and when she heard the things Eddie Murphy was saying, she tried to take it away, but then she noticed something: for the first time in a long time, I was laughing again."
“I don’t understand it—I really don’t and I never will—but sometimes, comedy is really the only way forward through tragedy."
Davidson wrapped up the open:
“My heart is with everyone whose lives have been destroyed this week, but tonight, I’m going to do what I’ve always done in the face of tragedy, and that’s try to be funny."
“Remember, I said 'try.'"
You can watch his full speech below.
Viewers of Davidson's monologue applauded the comedian for his heartfelt speech delivered from a place of compassion.
@cmclymer Beautifully said, and he kept it together. What a guy.— Barry Browne (@Barry Browne) 1697364457
So beautifully said, Pete.