Pete Davidson is often referred to as the “Cutie Pie” of “Saturday Night Live,” but on Wednesday, Feb. 11, Centertainment Productions gave him a new name as guest stand-up comedian at the Encore.
“We have been fortunate to have a few comedians of Pete Davidson’s caliber before, and it’s great experiences like these we hope to be able to keep providing to students in the future,” said Jaclyn Freeberg, the special events coordinator at Centertainment.
Davidson had just performed at UW-Stout on Feb. 10 and was on his way to UW-Madison for a Feb. 12 performance, so Centertainment was able to book him for Wednesday, Feb. 11 at a discounted rate.
“His manager was great to work with,” Freeberg said. “He was very easy to get a hold of and always replied quickly and politely.”
Emily Wisinewski, the late night coordinator at Centertainment, assisted Freeberg in preparing for Davidson’s performance. Wisinewski said the turnout for the event was outstanding.
“The Encore was filled to capacity and everyone seemed to really enjoy the performance,” Wisinewski said. “It is irregular for live entertainment to sell out, so Wednesday night was pretty exciting.”
Though the audience seemed reserved during Davidson’s opening act, they quickly excited when he took the stage. As part of her job, Wisinewski was able to meet Davidson, who told her he was not exactly a fan of Central Wisconsin’s climate.
“He thought that Wisconsin was too cold for life and was surprised at how similar everywhere is, forests next to forests,” Wisinewski said. “He seemed very relaxed, and did great at interacting with the audience.”
Davidson is unlike previous comedians Centertainment has brought to campus. He is a nationally recognized television comedian, who just turned 21 last November, making him SNL’s youngest cast member. Davidson participated in a question and answer session after his performance, then proceeded to the lobby, where he took pictures with audience members.
Kaya Bo Gravitter, a political science and international studies major, had never been to a stand up act on campus before. She was unimpressed with Davidson’s performance.
“I thought he was funny, but the guy who performed before him was way more funny,” Gravitter said. “I have a dry sense of humor, and he seemed to be unprepared and was too high to be funny.”
Gravitter is a long time SNL viewer. She said watching Davidson perform on the show was better than watching him perform stand up.
“He has a lot of potential, but just needs more practice,” Gravitter said. “I enjoyed no part of his act, and felt uncomfortable for most of it.”
Though Gravitter was not a fan of his comedy, she appreciated Davidson participating in a question and answer session after his performance.
“It’s nice to relate to someone our age, though he’s not in college,” Gravitter said. “He has an obvious knowledge of the real world.”
Gravitter was also appreciative that Centertainment brought a nationally recognized comedian to campus.
“This event was special,” Gravitter said. “I was thrilled for an SNL comedian and semi-famous person to be on campus.”
Davidson recently performed for SNL’s 40th anniversary special on Sunday, Feb. 15. The special featured movie stars, past SNL cast members, athletes, musicians and singers who recaptured 40 years of SNL history through live comedy sketches, video clips and more.
Outside of SNL, Davidson performs in New York City at Caroline’s On Broadway, Gotham Comedy Club and The Stand. He was named by Variety magazine as a Top 10 Comic to Watch in 2014.
Davidson will continue his run on SNL through the season. NBC has not confirmed it’s returning cast for the future.
Arts & Entertainment Editor