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Live from New York, ‘Saturday Night’ is back, so is Pete Davidson

Nahiar Nokshi

On Oct. 14, “Saturday Night Live” came back on the air after a six-month hiatus with host Pete Davidson and musical guest Ice Spice. The episode marked the show’s return after last season was cut short due to the 148-day Writers Guild of America strikes. 

Davidson was supposed to return to “SNL” last spring as a host last season with musical guest Lil Uzi Vert, but the episode was canceled after WGA writers ceased working on the production. 

The long-running sketch comedy show was allowed to return because “the program is a SAG-AFTRA non-dramatic production under a separate agreement that is not subject to the union’s strike order.”

The season premiere marked Davidson’s return to 30 Rock since his role as an “SNL” cast member from 2014 to 2022. 

The episode began with Davidson directly addressing the audience. “This week, we saw the horrible images and stories from Israel and Gaza,” Davidson said. “And I know what you’re thinking: Who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson?”

Davidson continued the cold open by discussing his experience of discovering his dad had been killed during the Sept. 11 attacks. The comedian said comedy was the only thing that made him smile through the difficult moment. 

“My heart is with everyone whose lives have been destroyed this week,” Davidson said. “But tonight, I’m gonna do what I’ve always done in the face of tragedy and that’s try to be funny. Remember, I said try. And live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”  

One user on X, formerly Twitter, said, “This was last night’s cold open on SNL. Please share it. Pete Davidson spoke from the heart about children suffering. It was powerful, passionate, and honest. Give yourself a minute. You’ll need a tissue or two…”

On YouTube, one user commented, “The right message, at the right time, from the right guy. Props to Davidson and SNL for getting this one unequivocally right.”

In typical Pete Davidson fashion, he returned to the stage after the cold open for his opening monologue with the same vulgar and honest stand-up routine viewers have grown to love and expect.  

An array of surprise guests made it out to New York for the show’s premiere. Taylor Swift introduced her friend and collaborator, Ice Spice, as the musical guest of the night. 

The Bronx rapper brought out Rema to sing their new song “Pretty Girl” and also performed fan favorite “In Ha Mood” earlier that night. 

Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce also made a surprise appearance. He joined a sketch about Swiftmania’s impact on the NFL. The sketch poked fun at Swift’s recent appearances at NFL games and how the subject has dominated the NFL’s coverage. 

All this combined, the season 49 premiere of “SNL” had 4.9 million viewers on NBC. This was a 19% increase from last season’s premiere. 

Ultimately, the season premiere was met with positive reception from fans. Davidson’s humor, Ice Spice’s energy and the memorable guest cameos made for an exciting watch. Viewers are thrilled to see where “SNL” will go in its new season.

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